Over a half-dozen states are trying to block Trump’s revised travel ban with lawsuits, while the government is requesting that the order take effect this week.
Heavily democratic states united:
Attorney Generals of heavily Democratic states such as California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon, joined a lawsuit by Bob Ferguson Washington State AG, in requesting a hearing with a federal judge in Seattle before the government implements the ban on new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim nations on Thursday.
A separate lawsuit by Hawaii already has a hearing scheduled on Wednesday
The revised ban is still unconstitutional and harms residents, universities, and businesses according to Ferguson. Tech companies in Washington State like Microsoft and Amazon would also be negatively affected as they rely on foreign workers.
After the judge who put Trump’s original order on hold said that he won’t immediately rule if his decision applies to the new version or not, Ferguson immediately filed new court documents. U.S. District Judge James Robart asked the federal government to respond to Ferguson’s claims quickly but he won’t hold a hearing before Wednesday.
Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General, joined Washington State’s challenge stating that despite the order’s changes, is an attack on people based on their religion or national origin.
Hawaii, a heavily Democratic state, filed a lawsuit on its own, and the U.S. government asked a federal court to deny the state’s request to temporarily block the ban from going into effect on Monday.
On Wednesday, the judge will hear arguments. The state is claiming that the new order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students. A plaintiff in the challenge, Ismail Elshikh, said the ban will prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting.
However, the government claims that Hawaii’s allegations are pure speculation, adding that 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.
The revised ban applies to Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and temporarily closes the U.S. refugee program. It’s different than the original order in that it says people with visas won’t be affected and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.
the changes to the order have been noted by Ferguson however, he still believes that it 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.”
Last week White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the administration believes the revised travel ban will stand up in courts.