Attorney General Becerra Joins Amicus Brief Supporting Hawaii’s Travel Ban Lawsuit

Thursday, April 20, 2017
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Brief Details Direct Impact Travel Ban Would Have On California

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a coalition of 17 states filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to support the preliminary injunction obtained by the state of Hawaii which bars enforcement of unconstitutional provisions of the Trump Administration's revised executive order on travel.

In the brief, the Attorneys General argue that the revised order retains unconstitutional components of the original executive order –  including a broad ban on entry to this country by nationals of several predominantly Muslim countries and a complete suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The brief details the direct impact the revised executive order would have on California if it went into effect, including:      

  • California universities and colleges host the largest number of students from the six designated countries, with 1,286 student visa-holders from Iran alone in 2015, and would lose millions in tax revenue from them.
  • The University of California (UC) system has 436 undergraduate students, graduate students, and medical residents at its largest campuses (Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Diego, Irvine, Davis, and Santa Barbara) who are nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – countries that are all included in the travel ban. These individuals find themselves unable to make study and travel plans for fear of being unable to re-enter the United States.
  • The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board has estimated that it might see 300,000 fewer international visitors in 2017, at least in part as a result of the initial and revised Orders.  This decrease would amount to an estimated loss of $220 million, which jeopardizes the employment of the hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles residents whose jobs rely on tourism.
  • Between 2012 and 2015, California accepted 23,393 refugees, including 5,668 from Iran, 225 from Syria, and 119 from Sudan. Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, California resettled 1,454 Syrian refugees, more than any other state. Ongoing efforts to resettle and assist refugees would be harmed.

“Let me be clear: the Administration’s travel ban is unconstitutional, and I am committed to fighting it every step of the way,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The uniqueness of America is that everyone wants to experience its greatness, to study in our universities, to be part of our cutting edge research, to visit our national treasures. This travel ban is not about our national security. This travel ban is about targeting people based on their religion. It is my duty to stand up against discrimination, and I am proud to be part of the coalition fighting against the travel ban.”

In addition to filing today’s brief, California is a plaintiff in the Washington State lawsuit against the federal government seeking to block the unconstitutional provisions of the executive order and has joined several amicus briefs in trial and appellate courts in opposition to the President’s initial travel ban. Those briefs include an amicus brief in the district court in Hawaii asking the district court to enter the preliminary injunction that is the subject of the current Ninth Circuit appeal; an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit in defense of another preliminary injunction regarding the President’s travel ban, which was entered by a district court in Maryland; and several amicus briefs in trial and appellate courts in opposition to the President’s initial travel ban.

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at

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