Trump caused chaos across the country with the order, not only because of its sweeping ban against citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, but also because of the way it was implemented.
Thousands of people were detained at airports, even those with legal authorization to enter the country, while customs and homeland security agents tried to figure out how to implement the order.
Federal judges in at least three states–Washington, Virginia and New York–ordered a temporary halt to the enforcement of provisions in the order on the grounds that they were likely unconstitutional.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, today (Feb. 2) filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. It charges that the intent of Trump’s executive order is to discriminate against Muslims.
“Our proposed complaint describes how President Trump’s executive order is not only unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American, but also how it does profound harm to our families, our economy, and our educational and health care institutions,” said Schneiderman said in a statement.
“President Trump’s intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight this discriminatory ban and protect all those caught in the crossfire of its chaotic implementation.”
The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause forbids the government from favoring or disfavoring particular religions,” according to the lawsuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale University, the Urban Justice Center and the National Immigration Law Center originally filed the case.
Ironically, Trump’s own words, and those of his surrogates, are being cited as evidence to prove Muslims are being targeted.
Chief among them are comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Jan 28, the suit states.
“I’ll tell you the whole history of it. So when [President Trump] first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ . . . . And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us.”
The “sweeping breadth and lack of clarity” of the order has resulted in inconsistent implementation by immigration authorities — and has jeopardized the health and safety of the families caught up by these uncertainties, the suit states.
New York is home to more than 4.4 million foreign-born residents (22.5 percent of the state’s population), including 15,000 people born in one of the seven affected countries.
The Attorney General’s proposed complaint alleges that the Executive Order has “significantly harmed the overall health and well-being of New York and its people, as well as its business interests and economy.”
Economically, hard hit are such sectors as technology, computers, and engineering.
Schneiderman cited the case of an Iranian who is a vice president for an engineering firm, a teacher at Columbia University, and a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. He’s been forced to cancel professional travel because he fears that the travel ban will prevent him from re-entering the United States.
The executive order is also impacting students, health care professionals and New York’s financial sector.
The proposed complaint asks the Court to declare that the executive order as a whole, and each of its specific provisions in violation of federal law and the constitution.
It also seeks to prevent Trump and his administration from implementing or enforcing the order, and from detaining, barring, or removing any individual from the U.S. pursuant to the order.