Massachusetts politicians criticize President Trump’s immigration suspension


Gov. Charlie Baker issued a statement over the weekend saying that President Trump’s suspension of immigration from some Middle East countries “will not make the country safer, as terrorists have showed they intend to strike from across the world.” He added that he looked to the courts for relief: “Thankfully, the federal courts will have an opportunity to straighten this out, and it is my hope they do so, and do so quickly to clarify the status of those affected so that people who have done nothing but follow the rules can rest assured that they will be able to go on with their lives,” he said in his statement issued Sunday.

Governor Baker, with members of his administration, discussed the implications of Friday’s presidential executive order with the academic community, members of the medical and research sectors, and with representatives of Massachusetts residents who may be affected by the order.

According to State House News Service, two UMass Dartmouth professors, both legal permanent residents returning from an academic conference in Paris, were among those detained Saturday. “Immigration lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed suit on behalf of the professors, Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, who are both Muslim Iranian nationals,” the news service reported.

According to the news release, early Sunday morning U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein issued a seven-day restraining order “prohibiting the detention or removal of refugee applicants, holders of valid visas, lawful permanent residents and others from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who would be otherwise legally authorized to enter the United States.”

Attorney General Maura Healey joined 15 other attorneys general in applauding the stays issued by federal courts. According to the release, they vowed to “use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.” The attorneys general said they were confident that the executive order would ultimately be struck down by the courts.