Yesterday, the San Diego City Council met in closed session and, among items for consideration, was the City of Chicago’s request that San Diego join the amicus curiae brief in State of Washington vs. Donald Trump to denounce the U.S. Government’s suspension of refugee admissions and its unconstitutional ban on admissions of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
More than thirty local organizations and individuals urged the San Diego City Council to sign on to the amicus brief. They wrote the following letter:
February 13, 2017
Dear San Diego City Councilmembers,
We, the undersigned civil society and business organizations, urge the San Diego City Council to join the City of Chicago in filing an amicus curiae brief in State of Washington vs. Donald Trump to denounce the U.S. Government’s suspension of refugee admissions and its unconstitutional ban on admissions of citizens of seven Muslim- majority countries. The executive order that established these policies violates fundamental principles of human rights and bedrock tenets of Constitutional law; and it betrays our values as a nation of immigrants and as San Diegans. Its implementation has had cruel and arbitrary consequences for many people fleeing persecution or seeking to enter the United States to reunite with family, receive medical treatment, or pursue professional and educational opportunities.
San Diego has a profound interest in this matter, as a significant number of San Diegans are directly impacted. We are an international metropolitan region; cross-border travel and trade are vital to our economic and social well-being; we are on the front line of the immigration issue; and we have the nation’s fourth highest population of residents from the seven countries named in the travel ban. San Diego has a uniquely knowledgeable perspective and we must be of one voice in saying that this executive order harms our community, undermines its values, and threatens our shared future.
Last week, the Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the temporary injunction on enforcing this ill-conceived executive order. While not a final resolution to the matter, the opinion is a clear indicator of deeply flawed policies. The 9th Circuit opinion is unambiguous that the executive order offers startlingly little clarity regarding the ways authorities may interpreted and implemented it how many people may be affected by it and in what ways. There is no guidance whatsoever as to what new restrictions may follow the initial bans. In light of the urgency and uncertainty of its resolution, we urge the San Diego City Council to sign on to the amicus brief.
Many of our nation’s big-city mayors are speaking out against this executive order. Mayors in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle, among others, have issued statements and joined protests to denounce the order and to support immigrants and refugees.
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal,” said the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. It is imperative that San Diego not remain silent. We urge the City Council to approve signing on to this important amicus brief.
ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Activist San Diego
Alliance for African Assistance
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Alliance San Diego
American Friends Service Committee- San Diego
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Center for Policy Initiatives
Climate Action Campaign
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Employee Rights Center
Environmental Health Coalition
IBEW Local 465
Interfaith Center for Worker Justice
Islamic Center of San Diego
Jewish Family Services
Main Street Alliance
Mid City CAN
New Americans Museum
Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
Pillars of the Community
San Diego Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League
San Diego Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council
San Diego LGBT Community Center
San Diego Organizing Project
San Diego Psychological Association
Showing Up for Racial Justice San Diego
Carly Graber, MSW candidate
Reverend Juan Daniel Espitia
Karla Swatek, Vice President of Horrow Sports Ventures
William and Linda Alcala
Editor’s Note: The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 to file a brief in support of the lawsuit. Republican Councilman Scott Sherman cast the dissenting voice. The Times of San Diego covered the City Council vote.