Attorney General Lori Swanson Joins Lawsuit Over Federal Executive Order

Attorney General Lori Swanson AP Photo/File

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has joined a lawsuit against the federal government that alleges that the January 27, 2017 Executive Order that imposes blanket entry restrictions to the United States for people from certain countries is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Swanson said: “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security.” She added: “America can keep its people safe without sacrificing bedrock constitutional principles.”

The Attorney General joined the lawsuit filed earlier this week by Washington State, which is supported by major corporations concerned about the impact of the travel ban on the economy and their employees. The lawsuit alleges that the Executive Order violates the equal protection, establishment, and due process clauses of the United States Constitution and the federal Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which prohibits discrimination in the issuance of visas on the basis of nationality, race, or place of birth or residence.

The lawsuit alleges that the Order is overbroad in imposing a blanket travel ban on people from certain countries “and sweeps within its ambit infant children, the disabled, long-time U.S residents, those fleeing terrorism, and those who assisted in the United States in conflicts overseas” who do not pose a security risk.

The lawsuit describes the impact of the travel ban on people with a lawful right to be in the United States, such as parents and their children, students with valid student visas, and scientists and other employees with valid work visas, who either cannot leave or return to the United States under the Order and some who have been separated from family. The lawsuit also describes the chilling effect of the Order on recruitment for employers and academic institutions.

Four different federal judges have temporarily halted certain detentions under the Executive Order.

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