Politics

Hawaii Sues President Trump Over Revised Travel Ban

| by Jonathan Constante

Hawaii has become the first state to take legal action against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

The lawsuit was filed on March 8 in a federal court in Honolulu by attorneys for the state, KABC reported. Hawaii had previously sued Trump over his initial travel ban, but the lawsuit was put on hold until other cases played out throughout the country.

The Trump administration's revised executive order is planned to go into effect on March 16. It bars new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries and shuts down the U.S. refugee program temporarily. The ban will not apply to travelers who already have visas.

It is argued in Hawaii's lawsuit that the legislation will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students. The complaint also states that the lawsuit aims to protect its businesses, schools, residents and its "sovereignty against illegal actions of President Donald J. Trump and the federal government," according to court documents.

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"Hawaii is special in that it has always been non-discriminatory in both its history and constitution," Attorney General Doug Chin said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Twenty percent of the people are foreign-born, 100,000 are non-citizens and 20 percent of the labor force is foreign-born."

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson set the hearing for March 15, the day before the revised order is set to go into effect. The state will argue that the judge should impose a temporary restraining order on the ban until the lawsuit is resolved.

University of Richmond Law School professor Carl Tobias said Hawaii's lawsuit is similar to Washington's previous lawsuit, which was successful. Still, he is not sure if it will produce a similar result.

Tobias said he expects the judge, who is an appointee of former President Barack Obama, to be receptive to "at least some of it." But because the revised order reads more like a national security rationale, and allows some travelers from the six nations to be admitted on a case-by-case basis, Tobias said it will be difficult to prove the proposed legislation is intended to discriminate against Muslims.

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"The administration's cleaned it up, but whether they have cleaned it up enough I don't know," Tobias said. "It may be harder to convince a judge there's religious animus here."

However, others are not seeing a major difference between the two executive orders.

"This new executive order is nothing more than Muslim ban 2.0," Chin said in a statement. "Under the pretense of national security, it still targets immigrants and refugees."

The new order also removed Iraq from the list of banned countries, NBC News reported.

Sources: KABC, NBC / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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