BOSTON Massachusetts on Tuesday joined a legal effort to block U.S. President Donald Trump's order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, which the state's attorney general has said is unconstitutional.
Healey cited the two Iranian UMass professors with green cards who were detained at Logan International Airport this weekend after the order was signed.
Healey called the order "harmful, discriminatory and unconstitutional", saying her office has reviewed the order and found it harms MA residents, businesses and academic institutions, in addition to violating federal immigration law and denying legal residents due process.
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"The recent executive orders ... will not improve our security and the lack of guidance associated with such an abrupt and overwhelming decision is problematic for all involved", Baker said in a statement. "Rather than protecting our national security, it stigmatizes those who would lawfully emigrate to our state", Healey said in a statement. With this policy, our global universities, hospitals, businesses and start-ups, and far too many students and residents have been put at risk.
The expanded complaint on behalf of the state and the University of MA will argue that Trump's temporarily halt to accepting refugees or immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries unlawfully interferes with "our economic lifeblood" and violates the constitution by giving preference to Christians from Muslim countries.
Healey's actions have measured support from Gov. Charlie Baker, who has said he believes the courts should "straighten out" an executive order that has seeded "confusion and chaos".
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"Our job in government and here in the attorney general's office is to make sure that we uphold the rule of law, that we uphold the tenets and the principle set forth in our state constitution and our United States Constitution", Healey said. The president has insisted that the 90-day order is not a "Muslim ban", and is being done to ensure that there is "extreme vetting" of people coming in from unstable parts of the world. Her order also stopped federal officials from expelling from the country two Iranian men who teach at the University of MA at Dartmouth. "Over the past three days my office has closely reviewed the language of the order and its many impacts. the executive order is harmful, discriminatory and unconstitutional".
UMass Dartmouth associate professors Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam were detained Saturday evening after flying home from an academic conference in Paris.
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