WASHINGTON: Attorneys general from 16 US states, including California and New York, on Sunday condemned President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration as "unconstitutional" and vowed to fight it.
Two days after the new Republican president halted entry to the US by refugees and persons from seven Muslim majority countries, the attorneys general, all Democrats whose states represent nearly a third of the US population, issued a joint statement in opposition.
"As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order," read the statement.
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The attorneys general pledged to "work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith."
Noting that several federal courts had already blocked parts of Trump's order, the attorneys general said they would "use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation's national security and core values."
They also predicted the courts would ultimately strike down the order.
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"In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created," the statement said.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who initiated the statement, was joined by her counterparts in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia (home to the US capital Washington), Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state.