Travelers from the Middle East arrive at the International Arrivals section at Los Angeles International Airport on June 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a number of other advocacy groups say they will challenge the latest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The organizations sent a letter to US District Judge Theodore D. Chuang on Friday, saying they will seek to amend an existing lawsuit filed in Maryland federal court in March against Trump's previous ban.
According to the new rules announced on Sunday, citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen will face new restrictions in travelling to the US.
In their letter, the organizations asserted that Trump’s latest ban, like the old ones, violates the US Constitution as well as federal immigration law, asking Chuang to schedule a conference for them to discuss a bid to stop implementation of the directive.
“President Trump’s newest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core, and it certainly engages in discrimination based on national origin, which is unlawful,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement, adding that the organization would “see President Trump in court — again.”
Meanwhile, Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said, in a statement, that the department would “continue to vigorously defend the President’s inherent authority to keep this country safe.”
The range of new restrictions imposed on each state is different, for example in Venezuela, only certain government officials and their families are affected.
They range from an indefinite ban on visas for citizens from countries such as Syria to more targeted restrictions.
The new proclamation removes Sudan but adds Venezuela and North Korea, however, Johnathan Smith, the legal director of the advocacy group Muslim Advocates, dismissed it as the "same Muslim ban" and an effort "to undermine our Constitution."
People from the six Muslim majority countries were banned from entering into the US for 90 days in the expiring ban.
Revised a few times, the ban originally followed 2016 campaign pledge by Trump for a “complete” shutdown of Muslims entering the US on the pretext of the so-called war on terror.

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