RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Tuesday filed a brief supporting states fighting against President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Stein filed a friend-of-the-court brief, in which he voiced support for a legal effort by Washington and Minnesota to block the ban, which Trump instituted by executive order. More than a dozen other states have filed similar briefs, which allow organizations or individuals to back a legal cause without becoming a plaintiff in the case.
Several other states have filed separate challenges.
“Almost everyone in this nation was an immigrant or came from immigrants, and so we have to recognize what our values are,” Stein said.
Stein, a Democrat, said he believes Trump’s executive order sends the wrong message to the rest of the world.
“The ban frankly undermines our security by signalling to the world that we somehow think all Muslims are terrorists when, of course, that’s not the case,” he said.
He also said, “I’m all for having secure borders, having close vetting of refugees who came into this country. That is a must. But we can’t have policies that are based on religious discrimination.”
Leaders of the state Republican party said they believe it is Stein who is sending the wrong message.
“This is the issue, protecting our citizens,” said Robin Hayes, the state GOP chairman. “Protecting them from harm from terrorism. It has nothing … to do with religion.”
Hayes and party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said efforts to oppose the executive order weaken our national defenses.
“What he is doing is using the courts to second guess a commander-in-chief,” Woodhouse said. “Of course, he’s joined some of the most liberal states out there.”