The city joined a group of more than 30 cities and counties around the country asking a federal judge to continue blocking aspects of president Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on Friday.
“In the short time that the Executive Order was in effect, it stranded students, separated families, disrupted travel and commerce, spread fear among our residents and visitors, and projected a message of intolerance and distrust toward members of our communities,” read court papers filed by New York City’s corporation counsel Zachary Carter on behalf of 34 cities and counties.
Carter’s filing argues the “xenophobia and religious discrimination endorsed” by Trump’s executive order is “toxic” for the cities “whose social fabric depends on tolerance and inclusiveness.”
The ban imposed against people from seven Muslim majority countries will damage the economic vitality and social fabric of the cities, argue the cites in amicus brief filed ahead of Tuesday’s hearing on whether the court will continue to block the order.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres tried to reassure residents of Paterson of his commitment to an inclusive and immigrant friendly city.
“Although the nation is currently living an aggressive anti-immigrant wave, I would like to reassure our immigrant communities in Paterson, that our city has historically been a city of immigrants, since its foundation, and will continue to welcome individuals of all faiths and backgrounds,” Torres said on Friday.
More than a third of Paterson residents are foreign born, according to the U.S. Census. Paterson police will not assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to detain and deport immigrants, the mayor said.
“Our city is home to a multi-cultural and diverse group of people, and it is that diversity that makes us strong. Although national sentiments may vary, our values and our commitment to inclusion will not,” Torres said.
Other municipalities and counties joined in the brief are Albany, NY; Austin, TX; Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Gary, IN; Ithaca, NY; Jersey City, NJ; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New Haven, CT; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Plainfield, NJ; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; Santa Monica, CA; Seattle, WA; Schenectady, NY; Somerville, MA; South Bend, IN; Syracuse, NY; Trenton, NJ; West Hollywood, CA; and Yonkers, NY; the City and County of San Francisco, CA; the Town of Carrboro, NC; the Boroughs Of Haledon, NJ and Princeton, NJ; and the Village of Skokie, IL.