(STL.News) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general in urging a federal appellate court to reverse a decision upholding presidential proclamations that have indefinitely halted vast amounts of immigration to the United States.
On April 22 and June 22, the federal government authorized two different immigration-related proclamations that effectively bar immigrants and foreign workers traveling on nonimmigrant work visas from entering the United States, including students, tech workers and the families of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. In an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Raoul and the coalition argue that the proclamations unlawfully keep families apart, harm the states, and are slowing economic and societal recovery from COVID-19.
“Immigrants provide important contributions that enrich their communities and help grow the economy here in Illinois and across the country,” Raoul said. “I will continue to oppose federal anti-immigrant policies that harm states and divide families.”
The proclamations shut down congressionally-authorized immigration to the United States. By the federal government’s own estimate, the proclamations may bar at least 525,000 people from entering the United States, including parents, adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as spouses and adult children of lawful permanent residents. The bans harm the states by denying residents the right to unite with their families, and harm economies because immigrants and non-immigrant workers fill important roles in schools, fields, and companies, create new jobs, start businesses, pay taxes, and purchase goods and services.
The proclamations are based on a deeply-flawed and erroneous understanding of how the economy actually works. Broader participation in the labor market spurs the creation of new jobs and bolsters spending in the United States. A 2014 report found that elimination of large numbers of H-1B visas – among the visas targeted by the proclamations – during the Great Recession cost the United States approximately 231,224 technology jobs as a result of the lost innovation and growth the workers would have spurred. Beyond the harms to businesses and families across the country, the proclamations also directly impact international students that colleges and universities in Illinois employ and enroll.
The brief by Raoul and the coalition is being filed today in the case of Gomez v. Trump. Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin