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Washington Judge Rules To Halt Trump's Immigration Executive Order


Last night's ruling that halted President Trump's executive order on immigration came out of Washington state where the state's attorney general said the immigration ban was causing, quote, "immediate and irreparable injury" to the state. Federal Judge James Robart agreed. President Trump tweeted this morning to say the judge's ruling is ridiculous and will be overturned. We're joined now by the governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, who's a Democrat. Governor, thanks for being with us.

JAY INSLEE: Good morning.

SIMON: What harm?

INSLEE: Well, the judge found that there is significant harm, not just to the individuals who had such trauma. I mean, I sat next to a crying American citizen whose husband flew from Vienna, had total approval and then couldn't get six feet to embrace her, and they shipped him back to Vienna. So there was a lot of personal acute harm. I'm - we now have a, you know, an infant who is going to get heart surgery flying in from Iran. But beyond the personal harm, it was a very historic and significant decision because the court held that the state acts in a Latin term, parens patriae, which basically means the state is a protector for its citizens. And the court found that we had business harm that was of obvious dimension where we can't send sales people around the world.

Expedia, I think, reported there were, like, a thousand reservations of people in the immediate future that were interfered with from these seven countries. The court found that - or at least heard - that we had substantial interference with our research in our educational institutions. We have 230 students at the University of Washington and Washington State University that will no longer be able to effectively travel to do their work and - including one - we have a fellow who's a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington. He's doing research on HIV prevention, which I think should be a bipartisan approach. But he was stranded and couldn't get back to his research and studies at the University of Washington.

So this was a historic decision by the court that the states could act in this capacity. And the court importantly also found that there was a likelihood of success, a likelihood of success all the way through this system. And that's significant because courts do not issue temporary restraining orders without making that finding. And I'm glad we have courts. Look, I was a little offended - I hope others are - that the president referred to this judge as a so-called judge. I will remind people the last time that he insulted a judge, it cost him $25 million for the privilege when he insulted a judge, said he couldn't serve because he was Hispanic. So I'm glad we have a strong federal judiciary that will stand by the Constitution. This is checks and balances at its best in the country and protecting the most important values of our country.

SIMON: Governor, we've just got about a minute left. Microsoft, Amazon, of course, are there in Washington state. I wonder what you heard from them about this order and its implications.

INSLEE: Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia - they were all supportive. Two of them filed essentially affidavits in support of this issue, and they talked about the diminishment, the damage, to their operations because they - obviously, 90 percent of, you know, all of the consumers are outside the United States. And they want to sell to the world, and they are. We got the best software. We've got the best clean energy technology. We've got the best airplanes. And it's very difficult to sell these products if you can't travel outside of the country. So they filed affidavits showing that they would be materially harmed, and that's why I'm glad that our state stood up both for the individuals who are so part of the fabric of our communities but also for the business and jobs for the working people that want to do their work. And you know, I've focused on jobs. I've focused on clean energy jobs and high tech, and we want to keep that ball rolling.

SIMON: Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state, thanks so much.

INSLEE: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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