Pa. AG Backs Down on Trump Travel Ban Challenge

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As the battle over immigration rages, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro appeared to back down from a challenge to President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

He was not among 16 Democratic attorneys general to file an amicus brief supporting Hawaii’s efforts to block the travel ban, which impacted passengers from majority-Muslim countries.

Shapiro said he was “proud to be a leader … in the first legal battle” over the president’s executive order. His decision not to join the brief was “guided by the law,” he added in a written statement provided to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“I wish the president would withdraw this second travel ban just as he did the first one,” he said. “I’ve never been afraid of standing up to the president when we disagree. This ban does not make us more safe, and is not in the best interests of our country.”

Attorneys general from California, Maryland, Virginia, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, Vermont, Iowa and Maine all signed the brief.

“Letting the travel ban take effect would irreparably harm the Amici States,” the brief read.

“It would block entry by students, teachers, workers, and tourists from the six majority-Muslim countries. It would harm our citizens, lawful permanent residents, and resident visa holders, many of whom have family members and loved ones who would be presumptively denied entry.”

Read the document here.

The father of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat in Iraq filed a separate amicus brief on Wednesday supporting a federal judge’s decision to block President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

Attorneys for Gold Star father Khizr Khan filed his brief in San Francisco where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering an appeal to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson.

Khan’s son, Humayun Khan, was a Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in 2004 by a suicide bomber in Iraq. Humayun was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

During last year’s Democratic National Convention, Khan drew national attention when he criticized the anti-Muslim rhetoric of then-Republican nominee Trump.

Trump took to Twitter to criticize Khan, saying the fallen soldier’s father had “viciously attacked” him.

Days after his inauguration, Trump issued an executive order restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. A federal judge blocked the order in February.

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