Attorney General Aaron M. Frey today joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general, led by California and New York, in an amicus brief in Gomez v. Trump urging the US Court of Appeals for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse a trial court decision that partially upheld President Trump’s proclamations that indefinitely disrupt portions of the country’s immigration system.
On April 22 and June 22, President Trump signed two different immigration-related proclamations that effectively bar immigrants and foreign workers traveling on nonimmigrant work visas from entering the US, including students, tech workers and the families of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. Building on an earlier friend-of-the court brief, the coalition once again asserts that the proclamations unlawfully keep families apart harm the states and are likely to slow economic and societal recovery from COVID-19. In Maine, many industries rely on work visas for a significant portion of their workforce.
“These proclamations keep families apart, including here in Maine and place an illegitimate barrier on our attempts to rebuild our economy,” said Frey. “The Trump Administration’s stated rationale for doing so is a misguided attempt to distract from the fact that they have failed to protect public health and contain the spread of COVID-19. I urge the US Court of Appeals to rule against the proclamations.”
Rather than taking meaningful action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the President’s proclamations are a red herring – scapegoating immigrants and shutting down congressionally authorized immigration to the US. By the federal government’s own estimate, the proclamations may bar at least 525,000 people from entering the US, including parents, adult children and siblings of US citizens, as well…..according to the press release.
The bans harm the states by denying our residents the right to unite with their families and harm our economies because immigrant and non-immigrant workers fill important roles in our schools, fields and companies, create new jobs, start businesses, pay taxes and purchase goods and services the press release said.