California Listed Amongst States suing to stop Trump’s revised travel ban as pressure mounts
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, joined
in his lawsuit by heavily Democratic California, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New York and Oregon, asked for a hearing
with a federal judge in Seattle before the administration plans
to implement the ban Thursday on new visas for people from
six predominantly Muslim nations.
More than a half-dozen states trying to block President Trump’s
revised travel ban moved forward Monday with a pair of lawsuits
while the government asked that the order be allowed to take
effect this week.
A hearing in a separate lawsuit by Hawaii already has been
scheduled for Wednesday. Ferguson said the revised ban is
still unconstitutional and harms residents, universities and
businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington
state-based Microsoft and Amazon who rely on foreign workers.
“No one is above the law, not even the president — and I will
hold him accountable to the Constitution,” Ferguson said
in a statement. “Cutting some illegal aspects of President
Trump’s original travel ban does not cure his affront to
our Constitution.” Ferguson filed new court documents after
the judge who put Mr Trump’s original order on hold said
last week he would not immediately rule on whether his
decision applies to the new version.
U.S. District Judge James Robart told the federal government
to quickly respond to Ferguson’s claims but said he would not
hold a hearing before Wednesday.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the most
populous U.S. state was joining Washington State’s challenge,
saying the order, despite its changes, is an attack on people
based on their religion or national origin.
In Hawaii, which is alone in its lawsuit, the U.S. government
asked a federal court Monday to deny the state’s request to
temporarily block the ban from going into effect.
A judge will hear arguments Wednesday, with the heavily
Democratic state claiming the new order will harm
its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.
Ismail Elshikh, a plaintiff in Hawaii’s challenge, said the
ban will prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting.
The government says Hawaii’s allegations that the ban will
negatively affect tourism and universities are pure speculation.
It also says neither Elshikh nor his mother-in-law have been
harmed because she has not been denied a waiver for a visa
to visit the United States.
Mr Trump’s revised ban applies to Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan,
Libya and Yemen and temporarily shuts down the U.S.
Unlike the original order, it says people with visas won’t be
affected and removes language that would give priority to
Ferguson acknowledged the changes to the order but said
it still “bars entry for virtually all other individuals from
the listed countries,” including relatives of U.S. citizens
and students who have been admitted to state universities
and people who might seek work at schools and businesses.
“This court’s original injunction protected these individuals
and institutions,” Washington state’s new court filing said.
It said the federal government can’t enforce the new travel
ban unless it asks Judge Robart to modify his original
“Until they do so, they cannot escape the injunction and continue
their illegal conduct,” the filing said. White House spokesman
Sean Spicer said last week that the administration believes the
revised travel ban will stand up to legal scrutiny.