CITIES AND COUNTIES FILE AMICUS BRIEF CHALLENGING PRESIDENT’S TRAVEL BAN

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2017
Contact:  press@citiesforaction.us | @citiesforaction

34 Cities and Counties Sign On in Darweesh v. Trump Amicus Brief in the Eastern District of New York to challenge the President’s Executive Order on the Travel Restrictions from Seven Muslim-Majority Countries

Signatory Cities & Counties Represent 23 Million People Nationwide

Amicus Brief Filing Here: http://bit.ly/EDNYamicus  

New YorkCities for Action announced today that 34 cities and counties, representing 23 million people, filed a local government amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in Darweesh v. Trump. The brief challenges the President’s Executive Order limiting travel from the seven Muslim-majority countries and seeks a continued hold on enforcement of the President’s Executive Order. The amici cities argue that a lift on the hold would deeply harm millions of residents by interfering with local economies, immigrant integration and public safety efforts.

Created in 2014, Cities for Action is a coalition of mayors and county executives working for stronger and safer cities through immigrant inclusive policies and programs. Cities for Action members are committed to driving the national debate on immigration policies and integrating immigrants through best practices at the municipal level.

Mayors’ statements in support include:

Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan 
“As the Capital of the great state of New York, the City of Albany, a sanctuary city, welcomes individuals of all religions and nationalities, and the United States should be no different. Individuals should feel comfortable contacting local law enforcement when they are the victim of a crime, regardless of their immigration status, however the President’s travel ban creates fear and threatens the safety of every resident and visitor.  It is imperative that cities across the nation unite to protect our residents and ensure their safety, and joining this amicus brief is an example of that.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler
“I just want the immigrant and refugee community in Austin to know that we are a welcoming and supportive community and that they are an important part of it.  The world can completely lose its mind and we’re still going to be Austin, Texas.” 

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown
“In opposing enforcement of the administration’s Executive Order, the City of Buffalo is continuing its commitment to equality, religious freedom and respect for individuals’ rights. Our City’s burgeoning refugee and immigrant communities are an integral part of Buffalo’s social, economic and academic fabric. These new Americans are driving the City of Buffalo’s revitalization, and today we stand with cities across the nation to preserve the American dream for all people.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel
“The President’s actions are a shameful betrayal of our fundamental American values. This is a moment when we have to stand up for our values, stand tall for the voiceless and stand together as one nation to say enough is enough. While I am pleased that the courts have placed a temporary halt to this unlawful Executive Order, the City of Chicago chose to make its views known to the courts, joining the legal fight to ensure that this country remains a welcoming beacon of hope to innocent refugees who seek to escape the life-threatening horrors of war and to hardworking, law-abiding immigrants who seek a better life.”

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin
“We are confident - confident in our Constitution, confident in our legal position, confident in our diverse immigrant community. We are confident in our efforts to thwart the chaos, foolishness and cruelty fostered by President Trump.”  

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp
“Quite honestly, one of the worst things to come out of Washington in recent days is the chilling effect this new Administration has had on a growing segment of this community. It’s my opinion that increasing fear among a wider swath of New Haven residents does more harm in this community than violations of immigration law.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
“The President’s ban violates both our Constitution and the values we hold dear. Americans of all stripes should be alarmed that religious liberties and Constitutional rights have been taken hostage by the White House. We will do everything in our power to fight back and stand up for the rights of all people.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney
“President Trump's Executive Order sends a message of fear and uncertainty throughout our city that stands in direct contrast to Philadelphia's openness to people of all faiths and nationalities. We are joining in the amicus brief with other U.S. cities because we must speak out strongly against this Executive Order and any future such orders that run counter to the very principles on which this nation was founded.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
“The stories of immigrant and refugee families are the stories of all our families, whether we arrived here last year or last century. President Trump's Executive Order threatens to rip families apart, and the actions of ICE in recent weeks have suggested the Trump Administration will continue targeting families in our communities. Removing people from their homes and instilling fear does not help our security, and it hurts our economy. It is a show of hostility toward all of us – these are our friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. We are taking the legal action necessary to stop this and future Executive Orders that aim to target any person based on their religion and we will remain a welcoming city that stands with everyone in our community."


Additionally, the brief argues that there would be significant costs for cities’ economies and the livelihood of immigrant families if the hold on the President’s Executive Orders were to be lifted. For example:

  • Immigrants make up a significant number of the workforce in our cities. Over 960,000 in Los Angeles, 184,100 in San Francisco; 108,000 in Philadelphia; and 51,000 in Portland.
  • Nearly 800,000 individuals born in the seven Muslim majority countries affected by the Executive Orders live in American cities. Amici cities are also home to tens of thousands of refugees.
  • Tourism, a huge segment of amici cities’ economies, would be harmed by the travel ban. In 2015, San Francisco had over 24 million tourists, generating $9 billion in spending and sustaining over 76,500 jobs. That same year, Los Angeles had 50 million tourists, including 6.7 million international visitors, visitors who alone generated $6.3 billion in spending; and Chicago had more than 51 million tourists that generated $14.8 billion in spending and sustained more than 178,000 jobs. New York City has about 60 million visitors per year, including 12.3 million international tourists, generating $42.2 billion in direct spending. 
  • International and foreign born students topped one million in the past academic year. Medical facilities, local governments, and public universities all rely on personnel from other countries.

Cities and counties that signed on to the amicus brief include the following:

ALBANY, NY;

AUSTIN, TX;

BUFFALO, NY;

CHICAGO, IL;

GARY, IN;

ITHACA, NY;

JERSEY CITY, NJ;

LOS ANGELES, CA;

MADISON, WI;

MINNEAPOLIS, MN;

NASHVILLE, TN;

NEW HAVEN, CT;

NEW YORK CITY, NY;

OAKLAND, CA;

PATERSON, NJ;

PHILADELPHIA, PA;

PLAINFIELD, NJ;

PORTLAND, OR;

PROVIDENCE, RI;

ROCHESTER, NY;

SANTA MONICA, CA;

SEATTLE, WA;

SCHENECTADY, NY;

SOMERVILLE, MA;

SOUTH BEND, IN;

SYRACUSE, NY;

TRENTON, NJ;

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA;

AND YONKERS, NY;

THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CA;

THE TOWN OF CARRBORO, NC;

THE BOROUGHS OF HALEDON, NJ AND PRINCETON, NJ;

THE VILLAGE OF SKOKIE, IL