The US state of Hawaii
has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, saying the executive order will harm the state’s Muslim population, foreign college students and tourism.
US District Judge Derrick Watson, a federal judge in Honolulu, Hawaii, said Wednesday the state can move forward with filing what would be the first lawsuit challenging Trump’s revised travel ban.
The judge set a court hearing for March 15, the day before Trump’s executive order is due to go into effect.
Watson said the state could revise its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump’s original ban signed in January. That suit was placed on hold amid legal challenges around the country.
A day after Trump signed the new executive order on March 6, attorneys for Hawaii filed their proposed revision in federal court, along with a motion asking that it be allowed to proceed.
The revised travel ban changed and replaced the original, more sweeping executive order issued on January 27 that caused chaos and protests at airports and was challenged in more than two dozen lawsuits across the US.
A federal judge in Seattle, Washington, blocked the first order, in a decision upheld by an appeals court in San Francisco, California.
The judge questioned the Trump administration’s use of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the US as a justification for the travel ban and said such measures must be “based in fact, as opposed to fiction.”
American women protest against US President Donald Trump, Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The new order maintains a 90-day ban on travel to the US by citizens of Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, but excludes Iraq and applies the restriction only to new visa applicants. It also removed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
“Given that the new executive order began life as a ‘Muslim ban’, its implementation also means that the state will be forced to tolerate a policy that disfavors one religion and violates the establishment clauses of both the federal and state constitutions,” the complaint stated.
Hawaii’s attorney general, Douglas Chin, said the revised order was largely the same as the original one.
“There is the same blanket ban on entry from Muslim-majority countries (minus one) and the same sweeping shutdown of refugee admissions (absent one exception) and lawless warren of exceptions and waivers,” Chin said.
On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that Trump’s immigration policies could lead to mass detentions and “collective expulsions” of migrants, amounting to a “breach of international law.”