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January 29, 2017

Pennsylvania AG Shapiro joins state prosecutors in condemning Trump's travel bans

Politics Immigration
040916_JoshShapiro Source/PoliticsPA

Josh Shapiro.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined 15 other state attorneys general in a joint statement denouncing President Donald Trump's executive order placing strict bans on several immigrant groups' entry into the United States.

Shapiro, who was sworn in as Pennsylvania's top prosecutor earlier this month, led the charge against the new policy, which abruptly suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days, indefinitely banned Syrian refugees, and blocked U.S. entry and re-entry for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, even if travelers hold green cards.

Here is the statement from the 16 attorneys general:

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 and will 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.

Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.

Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration's dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation's national security and core values.

We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. 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.

Thousands of people attended protests at airports nationwide over the weekend to oppose the new policy, whose effects have already been felt by scores of travelers attempting to enter the United States.

A federal judge in Brooklyn issued a one-page ruling on Saturday protecting those who are detained from immediate deportation, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it plans to enforce the prohibitions as laid out by the executive order. The White House said Sunday that the policy is a "small price to pay" to keep the United States safe.