The intent of President Donald Trump's executive order on travel from seven Middle Eastern countries was to discriminate, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday.
Even after a Seattle judge put an immediate stay on the order, there are still reports of people who are not being admitted into the country, Schneiderman said on MSNBC.
"We are hearing reports, and there are cases being filed all over the country," Schneiderman said on the "Morning Joe" program, while stressing he wanted to be careful not to blame the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department or others who had "no notice it was going into effect."
But, he continued, there was "inconsistent enforcement," and there have been "dozens of cases filed on behalf of individuals who were detained or intimidated to signing orders waiving their right to come to the country."
Schneiderman and 17 other attorneys general have filed briefs through the federal appeals process to oppose Trump's immigration ban, and that's just on one case.
"There are other AGs that have cases," said Schneiderman. "This is about a stay of the order. This is not about the constitutionality of the order, this is about the chaos it's created and whether the court can sort it."
There are two different issues that have come up, he told the program, with the government arguing that the attorneys general do not have a standing for the case, and the matter of "judiciability."
"We think the law is clear," said Schneiderman. "We have the standing to protect business and interest of our states. The second is judiciability. They are contending the president is above the law, that he has carte blanche when it comes to immigration laws...he has broad powers, but they are subject to the limitations of the judiciary."
At the core of the order, Schneiderman argued, is it violates the right to due process, but "more offensively, it violates the establishment clause that says you can't favor one religion over another...the intent and the effect of this order is to discriminate against Muslims and that is constitutionally offensive."
It is clear the order discriminates against Muslims, said Schneiderman, because of the language of the order itself, and by the statement made by Trump when he declared he had "'passed measures to prevent radical Islamic terrorists from getting into the country.'"
Also, Schneiderman said, the order is not "rationally related" to the seven countries named, as "not one has sent someone here who committed a terrorist attack."
Show host Joe Scarborough argued that President Barack Obama had named the same seven countries in his own order about Visa waivers, but "this was in a completely different context," Schneiderman said.
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