01/27/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/27/2021 07:49
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Michael Kelly, OAG
Phone: (804)356-5077 cell
~ Herring won the nation's first preliminary injunction against the ban, fought each iteration of it, and worked to help impacted Virginia residents get home ~
RICHMOND (January 27, 2021)- Attorney General Mark R. Herring today celebrated President Joe Biden's repeal of the discriminatory, unconstitutional, and un-American 'Muslim ban' four years to the day after President Donald Trump imposed it.
Within hours of Trump's issuance of the Muslim ban, Attorney General Herring was on the ground at Dulles International Airport, one of the epicenters of the ban's impact, witnessing for himself the chaos, confusion, and breaking up of families being caused by Trump's discriminatory ban and its haphazard implementation.
On January 31, Attorney General Herring filed suit to block the ban. He made his arguments before a federal judge on February 10, and on February 13 won the nation's first preliminary injunction against the ban.
'As soon as I saw that Executive Order I knew it was the Muslim ban that Donald Trump promised as a candidate, but that too many people wrote off as bluster that was not to be taken seriously,' said Attorney General Herring. 'The Muslim ban was a preview of things to come, and one of the earliest indications that Donald Trump was going to try to deliver on all his worst impulses and ideas. It was also an early call to action for me, and confirmation that, as Virginia's Attorney General, I was going to have to take swift, immediate, and nearly constant legal action to protect Virginians from a president who was ignorant of the Constitution and who considered himself to be above the law.
'The effects of the Muslim ban continue to reverberate all these years later. Even though President Biden thankfully repealed it as one of his first actions as president, the message the ban sent to our fellow Americans, and to the rest of the world, has done lasting damage.
'I will never forget speaking to Najwa Elyazgi, a George Mason student from Libya who was stranded in Turkey for nearly a week by the ban, after we were able to help bring her back to Virginia. She was a bright, accomplished young woman who was exactly the kind of person our country and Commonwealth should welcome, but she said that this experience had made her question everything she thought she knew about America. She said it all reminded her of the kind of discriminatory, authoritarian move she might have expected to see under the regime that used to rule her home country. But, she said, she still found hope in the groundswell of opposition to the ban, and the outpouring of support that she and others received. It was a powerful reminder that each of us as Americans still have the power to show the world the best version of our nation, even if those in power do not exemplify our highest ideals.
'I'm proud we were able to repeatedly block the Muslim ban in court, and to show Virginians that we will always fight for their rights and make sure they know they are valued members of our Virginian family, no matter what they look like, where they come from, how they worship, or who they love.
'I'm glad the ban is gone, and I hope we never again have a president who attempts such a discriminatory, unconstitutional, and un-American act.'
In addition to his own successful litigation, Attorney General Herring fought in courts around the country and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the Muslim ban. He co-authored with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh a brief of 17 states opposing the Muslim ban in the Fourth Circuit. He filed an amicus brief in support of Washington and Minnesota in their successful challenge to the first ban, as well as Hawaii's successful challenge against the revised travel ban.
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