Attorney General Xavier Becerra Continues Fight Against Unconstitutional, Unlawful Travel Ban with Brief in Fourth Circuit

Friday, March 31, 2017
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined 16 fellow state attorneys general in continuing the fight against President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban by filing an amicus brief in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The brief urges the court to reject the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the travel ban while it appeals a decision from the U.S. District Court for Maryland finding that the President’s scaled-back second executive order still likely violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

“Two different federal district courts have now held that the President’s revised travel ban should be blocked,” said Attorney General Becerra. “And yet President Trump says the courts should allow his travel ban to take effect immediately. The brief I joined today explains why the President is wrong. The Muslim travel ban isn’t just unconstitutional, it harms California and the rest of the nation and undermines our sacred values. I will continue to stand with my fellow attorneys general in fighting to protect our country from this unconstitutional overreach.”

In urging the Court to continue the current injunction against the travel ban, the states make it clear that:

  1. The Trump administration is unlikely to win their appeal;
  2. The public interest strongly favors a continued injunction against the stay;
  3. The Trump administration has not demonstrated the required “irreparable harm” that would entitle it to a stay; and
  4. States and their residents will face significant harm if the ban goes into effect.

The attorneys general describe the significant harm their residents and states would experience if the ban were allowed to go into effect, writing:

Letting the travel ban take effect would irreparably harm the Amici States. It would block entry by students, teachers, workers, and tourists from the six majority-Muslim countries. It would harm our citizens, lawful permanent residents, and resident visa holders, many of whom have family members and loved ones who would be presumptively denied entry. And it would amplify the message of fear and intimidation communicated to our Muslim communities by a President who has fulfilled his promise to single out Muslims for disfavored treatment. 

Attorney General Becerra was joined in filing the amicus brief by the attorneys general of Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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