HONOLULU — Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin announced on Jan. 29 that he has joined 16 other state attorneys general in opposing the White House’s executive order on immigration.
The other states are California, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Their joint statement reads: “As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump’s unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful executive order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.
“Religious liberty has been, and always will be, a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.
“Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the administration’s dangerous executive order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values.
“We are confident that the executive order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a separate statement, “I have been in contact with Attorney General Doug Chin regarding several orders issued by the federal courts in the last 24 hours. We believe these orders apply to all U.S. international airports, including those in Honolulu and Kona, and expect legal travelers to this country to be welcomed in Hawaii without being detained unlawfully by the federal government.
“Refugees entering the United States are screened by the National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Defense and State departments, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Refugees fleeing from war and persecution seek, simply, a better life.
“Hawaii has a proud history as a place immigrants of diverse backgrounds can achieve their dreams through hard work. Many of our people also know all too well the consequences of giving in to fear of newcomers. The remains of the internment camp at Honouliuli are a sad testament to that fear. We must remain true to our values and be vigilant where we see the worst part of history about to be repeated.”
In my generation we have seen European Jews prohibited from entering. We have had President Carter prevent people from entering. We have had President Obama prevent people from entering. Prior to my generation worse has happened to the Chinese and Japanese in the 20th Century.
Remember that this was NOT an act against Muslims, but a temporary act directed against limited nations in the Middle East in order to determine how to vet whether their entry endangered Americans against terrorism. Contrary to popular perception it was not directed against a religion. Muslims from other countries are still allowed entry. Even our Consul General from Japan who was born in Iraq will be vetted as the act does not exempt diplomats.
This was a campaign promise made by Trump (yes, he did win the election). How do you vet Obama’s Syrian refugees when the Syrian government is less than outstanding with the truth. Would a terrorist get to come to the U.S. with these asylum seekers? Are 2 terrorist in 500 too many? What is your immediate solution to the problem of vetting immigrants who may happen to be from a country that fosters terrorism? Another 9/11? Rather than protest come up with a working solution which is what Trump wants time to do. Never easy.