WASHINGTON (AP/KDKA) – Attorneys general from 15 states and the District of Columbia are urging a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court judge’s stay on President Donald Trump’s immigration order.

The friend of the court brief was filed Monday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

READ MORE: Activists Want Desk Duty For Reinstated Penn Hills Officer Under Investigation In Shooting Death

The 23-page filing was signed by AGs from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

At the end of January, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced he would be leading the effort.

“This filing is about keeping our communities safe, protecting our economy, and upholding the rule of law,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Monday. “Pennsylvania was founded on the promise of liberty and we’re proud to help lead this effort in support of Washington State’s lawsuit.”

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Student Writes, Releases Book

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

The officials say Trump’s executive order targeting refugees and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries hurts their states’ economies. They say it also disrupts education and medical services and violates First Amendment-protected religious liberties.

Trump has argued the U.S. must protect its borders from would-be foreign terrorists.

Government lawyers are expected to file court papers later Monday.

MORE NEWS: One Person Hospitalized After SUV Crashes Into Tree In Lawrenceville

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)