Port of Seattle opposes Trump travel ban in U.S. Supreme Court filing


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The Port of Seattle on Wednesday (Sept. 20) filed a “friend of the court” brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to agree with lower courts that have blocked enforcement of President Donald J. Trump’s so-called “travel ban.”

The Port said it is the first port in the nation to join the Supreme Court case in support of the parties challenging the travel ban.

“We have a moral and economic obligation to address this critical issue,” said Courtney Gregoire, a Port Commissioner. “America is great because we are a nation of immigrants. President Trump’s travel ban also causes economic harm to our airport, our region and our state.”

Here’s a video statement from Gregoire:

Port serves thousands
In its high court brief, the Port said Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the primary international airport in the region. The airport serves with more than 20 passenger airlines, serving approximately two-dozen international cities and nearly 80 domestic destinations.

For this reason the Port brief said it “has a significant interest in the uniform application of a constitutional and statutorily authorized system of immigration as the operator of the port of entry into the United States for thousands of passengers arriving from the Middle East and other regions on a weekly basis.”

The Port brief said there was direct economic harm from a decision in April 2017 by Emirates Airlines to cancel a second daily flight out of Sea-Tac Airport. The decision was taken, in part, by “a drop in demand following the issuance of President Donald J. Trump’s executive orders temporarily halting entry to the United States for citizens of six (initially seven) countries in the Middle East.”

The ongoing legal effort continues a record of action by the Port since the travel ban was announced in January 2017, a Port news release said.

Helped find lawyers
Right after the ban was announced, “the Port connected families to lawyers who could advocate for their rights and the rights of their loved ones and set aside private waiting areas for families at the airport.”

Then the Port said it “filed an emergency motion to stop the expulsion of international travelers who had every right to be here, ultimately enabling those passengers to continue on their travels very early the next day.

The Port said it had “maintained close coordination with Congressional, local and state leaders, including Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, since the beginning of this issue.”

Gregoire told involved individuals and families “we will continue to stand with you, and fight for you.”

Supports DACA
The Port said its support for immigrant and international communities does not stop with opposing the President’s travel ban, but also has said it backs Congressional efforts to provide permanent legal protections for immigrant children currently eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“The Port of Seattle is a leading global gateway that provides economic opportunity for industries and individuals,” the Port said Wednesday. “As one of the closest gateways to Asia, this region benefits rom international passengers traveling for business or pleasure, from global commercial shipping through Sea-Tac Airport and Northwest Seaport Alliance container terminals.”

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