St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced Wednesday she will join a lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration is unconstitutional.
The lawsuit was first filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday. Several major corporations are supporting the case. They allege that the travel ban will affect their employees, and are worried about the overall effects on the economy. Swanson joins hundreds of other Minnesotans in protesting the travel ban.
Syrians are indefinitely barred from entering the United States under the order. There is also a four-month ban on entry for refugees, and a 90-day ban on anyone from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security are able to grant exemptions on a case by case basis.
“As of 2015, over 400,000 of Minnesota’s approximately 5.4 million residents were born outside the United States, including more than 30,000 from Somalia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen,” reads the lawsuit, “These Minnesotans now face considerable uncertainty about whether they may travel overseas or whether relatives may visit or move here.”
Swanson’s statement claims 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. That act prohibits discrimination in the issuance of visas on the basis of nationality, race, or place of birth or residence.
“It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security,” Swanson said, “America can keep its people safe without sacrificing bedrock constitutional principles.”
The Trump administration has asserted that this ban is for security reasons. The countries affected have been identified by the Obama administration as countries of concern regarding terrorist activities.
Swanson’s portion of the lawsuit also alleges that the ban drastically affects higher education institutions in Minnesota. There are 120 students from the affected countries, across all five campuses.
State Department data shows that Minnesota took in more than 3,000 refugees from 25 different countries in 2016, reports MPR. This includes 1,405 from Somalia alone.