Santa Monica has joined a long list of cities that oppose President Trump’s proposed travel ban.
Municipalities nationwide including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Skokie, Illinois, are urging a federal judge to continue blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Santa Monica formally joined that list at their Feb. 14 council meeting.
The Council action puts the city on the record in two cases, both of which focus on the same issue.
The State of Washington filed a lawsuit to block the President’s ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim Countries and that case made recent headlines when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the band. A second case, Darweesh v. Trump, was filed by the ACLU and other organizations on behalf of two men who were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport after the ban was first announced.
“The city of Santa Monica has been asked if it would participate in the filing of amicus briefs, that is, briefs in support of the state of Washington and support of the plaintiffs in Darweesh and it is recommended that the council allow the city attorney’s office to participate in that,” said Interim City Attorney Joseph Lawrence.
New York City’s chief lawyer Zachary Carter filed papers Friday in federal court in Brooklyn on behalf of nearly three dozen cities. Carter and Senior Counsel Susan Greenberg say in the filing that the ban against seven predominantly Muslim countries damages the economies and cultures of the cities. They say it harms efforts to keep cities safe, including against terrorists.
The White House has said the order is necessary to protect against terrorism.
In a press release sent out on behalf of the Darweesh case, attorneys have argued 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. The release said immigrants are a significant part of the local work force with more than 960,000 immigrants employed in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said L.A. was to protecting its residents.
“Los Angeles continues to be at the forefront in the battle to uphold the basic constitutional values that protect all our residents,” said Feuer. “I’m proud our office is standing up for fundamental rights with this broad coalition of cities. We offer a unique and significant perspective in support of the Court’s injunction.”
Feuer said he would remain vigilant against a new order and that agencies should continue blocking the current ban.
“Los Angeles is at the forefront of a movement to defend American values and support immigrant communities,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement. “I thank City Attorney Feuer for his leadership, and stand committed to doing everything in my power to make sure that all Angelenos’ rights are respected and upheld.”
The papers were submitted in advance of a Tuesday hearing.
The Santa Monica Council’s decision to back both cases was unanimous.