Three dozen former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District of Florida have just signed a declaration opposing President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, joining others, including major real estate players, who are speaking out against the executive order.
In a strongly worded statement, the former government lawyers said Trump’s executive order “is inimical to the values of the Justice Department and the United States, most significantly, that individuals may not be treated more harshly under the law solely on account of their religion.”
The 36 lawyers said they back former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired this week after refusing to enforce Trump’s order called “Protecting the Nation Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
“If we were called upon to defend the executive order, could we do it within the guidelines we learned and lived by as lawyers for the United States? We could not,” the statement says.
“We could not candidly tell a court … that the executive order is not, in fact, a thinly veiled attempt to exclude Muslims from certain countries based on their religion,” the statement says. “We could not candidly tell a court that the United States has the right to turn away refugees fleeing grave danger, even though they have been fully vetted and approved for admission….We could not candidly tell a court that the United States has the right to detain or forcibly return people who have lawfully traveled her, based solely on their religion and country of origin.”
Among the 36 signatories: former U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman, former U.S. Attorney Roberto Martinez, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Gelber, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline M. Arango.
Trump’s executive order led to chaos at airports around the country last weekend. He is scheduled to fly to Mar-a-Lago, his home in Palm Beach, today, to attend the Red Cross Ball on Saturday night. Protests are scheduled in Palm Beach on Saturday.