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Trump Travel Ban Goes To Federal Court Nationwide

16 March 2017

Attorneys general from Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and California confirmed they are also planning to join the lawsuit in Seattle.

President Donald Trump's newly revised ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries is set to face three major court challenges today.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday that California would sign on as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the ban's constitutionality.

Under the USA legal system, a federal judge can suspend all or part of the Trump executive order, with nationwide effect - which Robart did the first time around and which the state plaintiffs hope he will do again.

But the immigration ban continues to target six nations that are more than 90 percent Muslim: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen The EO's sole changes in this regard are to make the ban on Syrian nationals temporary and to exclude Iraqi nationals, purportedly based on increased cooperation from Iraq, but more likely based on political and diplomatic pressure from Iraq and internally from within the Trump administration.

A hearing earlier Wednesday in Maryland was also inconclusive and the U.S. Justice Department is scheduled for another showdown with immigrant-rights groups in Seattle before the same judge who blocked Trump's original January 27 executive order from being enforced nationwide.

State Attorney General Douglas Chin arrived at the Honolulu federal courtroom today after filing the challenge last week, claiming that the ban will harm Hawaii by highlighting the state's dependence on worldwide travelers, its ethnic diversity and its welcoming reputation as the Aloha State. Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have filed an amicus brief in support of that suit, contending that the ban will do "serious harm" to their residents, businesses and communities. Justice Department attorneys are also phoning in for the hearing.

The new order removed from the earlier ban a clause that said it would give special protections for religious minorities, after Trump had said in an interview that Christians refugees should be given preferences for entry.

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The states collectively will also be filing around 50 new "declarations" setting forth numerous harms they claim to face under the new executive order, which is slated to go into effect on Thursday.

The Justice Department will have a chance to respond on Monday, and then the judge will hear oral arguments on Wednesday.

At Wednesday's hearing, the judge will also hear arguments from the state on a motion to impose a temporary restraining order that would prevent the ban from taking place until the lawsuit has been resolved. Unlike the earlier version, the March 6 order explicitly exempts from the ban natives of the targeted countries who have gained legal USA residency or hold valid US visas.

Watson pointedly asked: "How do we assess that the neutrality (of the new order's text) isn't a subterfuge in some way?"

Those defending the ban said it is necessary for national security.

But the religious discrimination claim "isn't addressed in the second executive order", says Ms.

The new battle against Trump's order is being played out on several geographical fronts, but mainly on the west coast, which tends to be pro-Democrat. Indeed, the Trump administration could seek to use this information to lay the groundwork for further bans or restrictions on immigration.

The government says Hawaii's allegations that the ban will negatively affect tourism and universities are pure speculation.