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San Diego City Council Supports Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban

President Donald Trump, center, with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, right, watching, signs an executive action on extreme vetting at the Pentagon in Washington, Jan. 27, 2017.
Susan Walsh / Associated Press
President Donald Trump, center, with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, right, watching, signs an executive action on extreme vetting at the Pentagon in Washington, Jan. 27, 2017.
San Diego City Council Supports Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban
San Diego City Council Supports Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban GUEST: Andrew Bowen, metro reporter, KPBS

The San Diego city Council will join the legal challenge against President Trump's travel ban. Damage to the Oroville Dam as a wake-up call on the condition of the states water infrastructure. This is KPBS Midday Edition . It is Wednesday, February 15 pick our top story on midday edition Toppin ministration officials are working on drafting a new Executive Order banning travel into the U.S. by some foreign nationals. The current executive order signed by President Trump remains on hold pending a challenge in federal court. If and when that challenge is heard the city Council has voted to become part of it in San Diego. Joining me is Andrew Bowen. How is Samuel going to join the action?. -- They will cosign a brief and that is a legal document that is part of the court record. It is still just the state of Washington in Minnesota. These briefs are filed by people were not involved in the litigation but have an interest in the outcome of the lawsuit. San Diego is a city that was approached by Chicago. They are attempting to bring cities into the conversation on how this order is affecting people. The argument is are that they are being affected by this travel ban and some weight. Set the scene for us yesterday. There was public testimony but the city Council was taken in closed session. It was because it contained legal deliberation. There were a lot of public speakers that lasted long for something that is in closed session. There were people from the business community saying that immigrants and refugees are important to the San Diego economy. There were people from the LGBT community. Many people who seek refuge in the United States are seeking it because they are gay or lesbian or transgender. There was a group of psychologists talking about the trauma. There was someone from a grassroots organizing movement that is based on the tea party and I think most importantly there were refugees and their children. People who are talking about the great work that they do in their communities and a woman said she was the daughter of refugees who moved to 35 years ago. Refugees are the most but it people that come to the United States. It is a process that takes up to two years. Refugees are not the enemy. The suspension of the refugee program is a blow to our own economic growth as a city in many of our refugees work within tourism and transportation industries here in San Diego. After this public testimony the members took their boats and it was passed 8-1. A councilmember was the only ones that oppose. Do we know why? The Councilman really statement that they are proud that they are taking a step. They mention the protest in San Diego after the travel ban went into effect. The Councilman Sherman was the one who voted against signing this brief also issued a statement and he said that the city was being asked to sign a document that no one has read and it hasn't been written. The city should focus on municipal issues not chasing national headlines. I think the response that we heard to that mindset was a this is a municipal issue and it doesn't affect people in San Diego. Many people talked in support of the brief. Were the people who gave public testimony against it customer There were two. They said they should focus on local issues rather than national ones. Someone said that Executive Order had been suspended and that he might replace it with a different Executive Order in cosigning the brief would not have much of an impact. Told the mayor -- so the mayor came out and did not take about. He did issue a statement saying that Americans deserve an immigration policy that keeps us safe without separating families and shutting doors on innocent people. He said this order directly impacts San Diego inns. I think it is a bold the statement that I've heard from the mayor on Trump administration policy. He did have a recent press conference with the mayor and both of them avoided questions on Trump specifically in sort of focused on this positive cross-border cooperation that they try to encourage. The statement did not mention Trump by name but I think the mayor is walking a fine line but he is moving in a direction of being less conciliatory towards the president. I've been speaking with Andrew Bowen. Thank you. Thank you.

San Diego City Council Supports Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban
The San Diego City Council is co-signing an amicus brief written by the city of Chicago in support of a lawsuit against President Donald Trump's travel ban. Councilman Scott Sherman cast the lone vote against supporting the lawsuit, which is still being decided in court.

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday voted to sign an amicus brief in support of a Washington state lawsuit against President Donald Trump, inserting the city into the ongoing legal battle over the president's executive order on refugees and immigration.

Related: Federal Appeals Court Refuses To Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban

The vote was 8-1 in favor of supporting the lawsuit. Councilman Scott Sherman, a Republican, cast the lone "no" vote.

The action came after the city of Chicago approached San Diego and several other large American cities to ask if the cities wanted to add their signatures to the amicus brief. It does not make San Diego a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, but does add the city's voice to a growing number of nonprofit organizations and businesses that publicly oppose the executive order.

The order suspends the country's refugee program and bars immigration by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. It cannot currently be enforced because of a court injunction.

The council's deliberation and vote took place in closed session because it involved potential litigation. But more than 40 people spoke during public testimony, most of them urging the council to support the lawsuit.

Ramla Sahid, executive director of the nonprofit Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, told the council that she was a former Somali refugee and that her community was counting on them standing against the Trump administration.

"You either stand with our most vulnerable families and say that they belong in San Diego, where many of us have had children and have raised our children, or you label them as foreign enemies," she said.

A smaller number of speakers opposed signing the amicus brief, saying it was not a city's place to weigh in on matters of immigration or national security.

"I believe the council should focus on local problems," said Roger Ogden. "As appealing as it might be to you to delve into foreign policy... I don't think you can have much impact there."

A handful of speakers called out council members Lorie Zapf, Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman for not being present in the council chambers for much of the public testimony. A spokeswoman from Zapf's office said the councilwoman was not feeling well and went to her office, where she watched public testimony through CityTV.

A representative for Kersey said the councilman stepped out of the council chambers to reschedule meetings that had to be cancelled because testimony was lasting longer than expected. Sherman's office said he missed public testimony because of "an unfortunate conflict." A spokesman said Sherman voted against signing the brief because "city officials should focus on local municipal issues instead of chasing national news stories."

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, a Democrat, had said in a statement last week that Trump's travel ban "has consequences for San Diego — for our families, our border economy and our innovation and technology sectors."

"Our voice should be heard," Elliott said.