Acting Attorney General Says Justice Department Will Not Defend Trump's Immigration Ban

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy looks on as Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice on June 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Volkswagen has agreed to nearly $15 billion in a settlement over emissions cheating on its diesel vehicles. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Acting Attorney General Says Justice Department Will Not Defend Trump's Immigration Ban

Sally Yates orders the Justice Department to "not present arguments in defense of the executive order."

Published January 30, 2017

Ever since President Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries was made public, millions of people have reacted against it, calling the measure “bigoted” and actually presenting more of a danger to Americans.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is one of those people. She has ordered Justice Department attorneys to not defend Donald Trump’s executive order, which bans immigration based on the religious makeup of foreign countries and suspends the Syrian refugee program.

“[F]or as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order,” she wrote, explaining she isn’t convinced that defending the order met with her responsibilities as head of the Justice Department, which include always to “seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Yates’s order is just one of many that have been attempted in blocking the “Muslim ban.” Five district court rulings over the weekend halted enforcement of parts of the order. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for attorney general.

Sally Yates took over as acting attorney general after former AG Loretta Lynch departed the office on Inauguration Day. White House spokespeople have not yet responded to Yates’s comments publicly, but say comment by them on the matter is soon to come.

Read Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s statement about the Trump travel ban below.

Written by Paul Meara

(Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

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