West Virginia signs brief supporting Trump's immigration order

By Chris Dickerson | Mar 29, 2017

CHARLESTON – West Virginia is one of 13 states that filed a federal brief supporting President Trump’s revised executive order banning people from six “countries of concern” from entering the United States.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is one of 12 AGs who joined Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant in signing the amicus brief filed March 27 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

“National security falls squarely within the responsibility of the federal government,” Morrisey told The West Virginia Record. “Our Constitution does not give states that authority, and therefore the safety of all West Virginians relies upon a strong federal government that enforces admissions in a fair and just manner. This executive order does just that.”

The 36-page amicus brief says the immigration order is lawful and well within Trump’s authority. It also says states do not have the authority to “restrict or set the terms of aliens’ entry into the United States for public-safety and national-security reasons.” The federal Executive Branch, pursuant to the laws of Congress, has that authority, the brief argues.

Joining Bryant and Morrisey in signing the brief are the attorneys general from Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.

Trump’s original immigration executive order from Jan. 27 imposed a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the United States from citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Those seven countries were labeled terror hot spots.

After legal challenges and a temporary restraining order, a new order was signed March 6. It suspended the refugee program and entry to the United States for travelers from several primarily Muslim nations. It suspended refugee entries for 120 days and no longer includes Iraq on the list. Two federal judges have issued temporary restraining orders against the new order, enjoining the government from enforcing several key provisions.

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