Legal challenges to Trump’s travel ban mount
Published 9:45 am Friday, March 10, 2017
SEATTLE — Legal challenges against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban mounted Thursday as Washington state said it would renew its request to block the executive order and a judge granted Oregon’s request to join the case.
The events happened a day after Hawaii launched its own lawsuit, and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said New York state also asked to join his state’s legal effort. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the state is joining fellow states in challenging the revised travel ban.
Washington was the first state to sue over the original ban, which resulted in Judge James Robart in Seattle halting its implementation around the country. Ferguson said the state would ask Robart to rule that his temporary restraining order against the first ban applies to Trump’s revised action.
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“My message to President Trump is — not so fast,” Ferguson told reporters. “After spending more than a month to fix a broken order that he rushed out the door, the President’s new order reinstates several of the same provisions and has the same illegal motivations as the original.”
Robart on Thursday granted Oregon’s request to join Washington and Minnesota in the case opposing the travel ban.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said the executive order has hurt Oregon, its residents, employers, agencies, educational institutions, health care system and economy.
Trump’s revised ban bars new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries: Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program.
Unlike the initial order, the new one says current visa holders won’t be affected, and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.
Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin said that the state could not stay silent on Trump’s travel ban because of Hawaii’s unique culture and history. Hawaii depends heavily on tourism, and the revised ban would hurt the state’s economy, he said.
The courts need to hear “that there’s a state where ethnic diversity is the norm, where people are welcomed with aloha and respect,” Chin said.