BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twelve states, including Maryland, have joined a coalition hoping to block President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugee resettlement and the state department’s efforts to implement it.
The states argue in an amicus brief that the president’s executive order violates the Refugee Act of 1980 and interferes with state sovereignty by allowing local governments the ability to veto refugee placements in their communities.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration said it planned to cap the number of refugees admitted into the country at no more than 18,000 for fiscal year 2020, the lowest number in the country’s history, CBS News reported.
“Maryland’s refugee and asylum populations contribute culturally, socially, and economically to the fabric of our diverse state. We welcome them and help them adjust to living in the United States,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement. “We earn returns above and beyond what we can offer them. President Trump’s executive order threatens to take away our state’s autonomy and ability to provide assistance, and it will tear Maryland families apart.”
Over the past five fiscal years, Maryland has resettled 5,461 refugees, Frosh’s office said Friday.
Maryland, California and Illinois led the brief, which was joined by attorneys general from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.