Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is evaluating whether to join in one of the legal actions that's been filed to block President Donald Trump's ban on entry into the country for people from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
"Ultimately we may have to join in one of the actions to stop the executive order from being implemented," he said. "We think the orders are illegal. We think they'll make us less safe."
Frosh also joined more than a dozen other Democratic state attorneys general in issuing a statement opposing the president's executive order, which they called "unconstitutional, unAmerican and unlawful."
The attorneys general wrote that they would "use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order."
"We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts," the attorneys general wrote. "In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation it has created."
The statement was signed by attorneys general from 16 states and Washington, D.C.
Frosh has been among many prominent Maryland Democrats who have spoken out against the travel restrictions, which left more than 100 people detained at American airports in legal limbo over the weekend and created uncertainty for many families and businesses.
Frosh, a Democrat, said he hopes he can get Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to support his efforts.
"I think it's clearly in Maryland's interest that these executive orders not be carried out. I'm hopeful the governor will agree with that," Frosh said.
Hogan's office issued a statement over the weekend saying that lawyers were reviewing how the order might impact the state and noting that the federal government is in control of immigration laws.
"This administration has and continues to support strengthened and more clarified vetting processes for those entering the country," Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said in the statement.
Frosh said Maryland businesses and universities will now have a difficult time recruiting workers and students from other countries. The Trump policies also divide families and might be used by America's enemies for their propaganda, he said.
Frosh said that because immigration and foreign policy is a federal issue, the governor and General Assembly have little recourse against federal actions. But having the state's top leader speak out would be meaningful, he said.
"I think leaders — especially chief executives of our states — need to stand up and identify it for what it is. It is not only a policy that is unwise and dangerous, but it is a policy that is inhumane, inappropriate and un-American," Frosh said.