New Jersey joins the fight against Trump’s travel ban
New Jersey has joined an effort to stop the Trump administration's third version of its travel ban — saying the move to block immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries is "counter to such American values as acceptance, religious tolerance and non-discrimination."
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in addition to being unconstitutional, the ban has "done incalculable economic and other harm to New Jersey and the other states."
“It’s well documented that New Jersey has one of the most diverse populations in the country. We are also a hub for international travel, and many of those travelers are engaged in business, higher education, medicine, research, academic study and tourism – as well as the simple joys of family life. Hawaii’s fight is also our fight," he said.
New Jersey formally joined an amicus brief in support of Hawaii in its court action to block the ban, which prohibits entry to the U.S. by travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad. It also blocks entry by all North Korean Nationals.
Hawaii argues in its filing that the ban exceeds the president's authority, and violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution "because it was enacted for the purpose of excluding Muslims from the U.S.," New Jersey said in its announcement that it would join the effort.
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Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have signed onto the amicus brief.
"The brief argues that, like its predecessors, the latest ban on entry to the U.S. by travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries does irreparable harm to the universities, hospitals, businesses and residents of the participating states," New Jersey wrote in its announcement.
It says public universities can't as effectively recruit and retain students and faculty, impairing academic staffing and research — and says the ban causes them to lose tuition and tax revenue.
It also argues the ban adversely affects the the medical, science, technology, finance and tourism industries.
Then-candidate Donald Trump first announced in December 2015 he wanted a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." As president, he proposed and has attempted to implement a more specific ban on immigration from certain countries, though two versions of that ban have been blocked by courts.
"His proposal is banning all Muslims," then-governor and then-fellow Republican primary presidental candidate Chris Christie said at the time, speaking to New Jersey 101.5's Eric Scott. "All. no matter where you come from and so all I've said is it's the difference between someone who has experience protecting America and someone who doesn't," Christie said during the program.