More states seek to halt Trump’s new travel ban in court

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By Dan Levine and Mica Rosenberg

<span class="articleLocation”>Several states said on Thursday they would move
forward with legal challenges to a revised executive order
signed by President Donald Trump this week that temporarily bars
the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of
Muslim-majority countries.

The new travel order, which is set to take effect on March
16, replaced a more sweeping ban issued on Jan. 27 that caused
chaos and protests at airports.

The first order was hit by more than two dozen lawsuits,
including a challenge brought by Washington state and joined by
Minnesota.

In response to Washington’s lawsuit, U.S. District Judge
James Robart in Seattle ordered an emergency halt to the policy
last month. That ruling was upheld by an appeals court in San
Francisco.

Washington state Attorney General Robert Ferguson said on
Thursday he planned to ask Robart to confirm that his ruling
would also apply to Trump’s revised order, which would halt it
from being implemented.

Ferguson told a news conference the new order harmed a “smaller group” of individuals but that would not affect the
state’s ability to challenge it in court.

He said the burden was on the Trump administration to show
that the court ruling from last month did not apply to its new
policy.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman declined to comment
on pending litigation.

The government has said the president has wide authority to
implement immigration policy and that the travel rules are
necessary to protect against terrorist attacks.

The states and immigration advocates argue the new ban, like
the original one, discriminates against Muslims.

New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, said on
Thursday he would be joining Washington’s lawsuit against the
new ban and the state of Oregon said it would join too. The
attorney general for Massachusetts, Maura Healey, said on
Twitter she would be joining Washington’s challenge to “Trump’s
unlawful #MuslimBan2.”

Minnesota is also continuing to pursue the Seattle case
alongside Washington.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called for “a total
and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He
later toned down that language and said he would implement a
policy of “extreme vetting” of foreigners coming to the country.

The opposition from the states comes on top of a separate
legal challenge to the new ban brought by Hawaii on Wednesday. Hawaii had also sued over the previous order and is
seeking to amend its complaint to include the new ban.

A hearing in that case is set for next Wednesday, a day
before the clock starts on the new order.

MORE EXEMPTIONS

Trump’s new executive order was designed with the intention
of avoiding the legal hurdles.

While the new order keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the
United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan
and Yemen, it excludes Iraq.

Refugees are still halted from entering the country for 120
days, but the new order removed an indefinite ban on all
refugees from Syria.

The revisions include explicit exemptions for legal
permanent residents or existing visa holders. Waivers are
allowed on a case-by-case basis for some business, diplomatic
and other travelers.

The first hurdle for the lawsuits will be proving “standing,” which means finding someone who has been harmed by
the policy. With so many exemptions, legal experts have said it
might be hard to find individuals who would have a right to sue,
in the eyes of a court.



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