Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey received backing from eight Haverhill officials.
The federal appeals court case, in which Haverhill leaders this week took sides, has for now been decided in favor of those opposing President Donald Trump’s immigration order.
A panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused Thursday to reinstate Trump’s executive order, banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The case could move now to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mayor James J. Fiorentini and seven out of nine city councilors signed a letter this week supporting Massachusetts Attorney General Maura’s Healey efforts. Healey joined 18 other attorneys general in filing a friend of the court brief in support of Washington and Minnesota in their federal lawsuit challenging Trump’s order.
“My office challenged this reckless and discriminatory executive order to protect the residents, economic vitality and basic values of Massachusetts,” Healey said in a statement after the ruling. “I stand with state attorneys general united in our commitment to hold this administration accountable to the laws and the people of this country.”
The three-judge panel, ruling unanimously against the White House, included William C. Canby Jr., appointed by President Jimmy Carter; Richard R. Clifton, appointed by President George W. Bush; and Michelle T. Friedland, appointed by President Barack Obama.
Councilors signing the letter were President John A. Michitson, Vice President Melinda E. Barrett, Andy Vargas, Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Colin F. LePage, Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien and Thomas J. Sullivan.
“With members of our federal delegation, we stand united in support of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s decision to challenge President Trump’s executive order on immigration,” the letter read. “We echo the sentiments of Governor Charlie Baker in expressing opposition to this executive order. We feel this order is in contradiction with the most fundamental American values of freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness.”
Former Haverhill mayor and city councilor William H. Ryan criticized the city’s intervention.
“The city leaders should tend to city business. We have lots of problems in the city,” said Ryan, who is also chairman of the Haverhill Republican City Committee. “They have a right to do that, but they should be paying attention to local issues.”