Two US states say allowing ban would ‘unleash chaos’

AP, WASHINGTON and NEW YORK

Tue, Feb 07, 2017 - Page 1

Lawyers for Washington state and Minnesota have told a federal appellate court that restoring US President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries would “unleash chaos again.”

The filing with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco came early yesterday after the White House said it expected the federal courts to reinstate the ban.

Washington and Minnesota said their underlying lawsuit was strong and a nationwide temporary restraining order was appropriate.

If the appellate court reinstated Trump’s ban, the states said the “ruling would reinstitute those harms, separating families, stranding our university students and faculty, and barring travel.”

The rapid-fire legal maneuvers by the two states were accompanied by briefs filed by the technology industry arguing that the travel ban would harm their companies by making it more difficult to recruit employees.

Trump’s executive order was founded on a claim of national security, but lawyers for the two states told the appellate court the administration’s move hurts residents, businesses and universities and is unconstitutional.

The next opportunity for Trump’s team to argue in favor of the ban will come in the form of a response to the Washington state and Minnesota filings.

The 9th Circuit ordered the US Department of Justice to file its briefs by 6pm yesterday. It had already turned down a department request to set aside immediately a Seattle judge’s ruling that put a temporary hold on the ban nationwide.

Trump’s executive order applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Travelers from those nations who were denied entry into the US a week ago are arriving at airports around the country and into the open arms of their loved ones.

Fariba Tajrostami, a 32-year-old painter from Iran, came through the gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday with a huge smile and tears in her eyes as her brothers greeted her with joyful hugs.

“I’m very happy. I haven’t seen my brothers for nine years,” she said.

Tajrostami had tried to fly to the US from Turkey more than a week ago, but was turned away. She said she hopes to study art and plans to join her husband in Dallas soon.

He moved from Iran six months ago, has a green card and is working at a car dealership.

Similar scenes played out at airports across the US.