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February 17, 2017

Philadelphia joins 33 other cities challenging Trump's travel ban in federal court

Philadelphia is one of 34 cities and counties across the country joining together to challenge the legality of President Donald Trump's immigration ban, the mayor's office announced Friday.

Court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Thursday supports the continued suspension of the president's executive order limiting immigrants and refugees from entering the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The legal papers are signed by officials in cities like Seattle, Nashville, Chicago and New York, as well as Philadelphia

If the executive order is enforced, these cities argue that it would interfere with their local economies, immigrant integration and public safety.

“President Trump’s Executive Order sends a message of fear and uncertainty throughout our city that stands in direct contrast to Philadelphia’s openness to people of all faiths and nationalities,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “We are joining in the amicus brief with other U.S. cities because we must speak out strongly against this Executive Order and any future such orders that run counter to the very principles on which this nation was founded.”

The brief states that 108,000 immigrants make up the workforce in Philadelphia.

A day after Trump signed the ban in late January, a Syrian family was denied entry upon their arrival at Philadelphia International Airport, despite having legal paperwork. Kenney said he was "sickened" and joined protests at PHL the next day. 

Trump's order was quickly blocked by a Seattle federal judge. On Thrusday, he vowed to replace the ban with a new executive order to be released next week instead of continuing to appeal the courts' decisions blocking the original one. 

Read the complete court document here