The state of Hawaii asked U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson on Tuesday to block the Trump administration from enforcing the third version of its travel ban, saying it “replicates all of the legal flaws evident in its precursors.”
In motions filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, Neal Katyal, a lead attorney for Hawaii, told Watson that the new travel ban “still fails, despite its elaborate rationalizations, to make any ‘finding’ remotely adequate to support its sweeping ban of millions of foreign nationals.”
Hawaii is asking Watson to issue a nationwide injunction against the presidential action, which limits or bans entry into the U.S. from eight countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has been battling the Trump administration since February, shortly after the president issued the first version of the travel ban
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Katyal wrote that the travel ban — set to take effect Oct. 18 — is a continuation of President Donald Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States,” arguing that the addition of non-Muslim countries is “almost entirely symbolic.”
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has been battling the administration since February, shortly after Trump issued the first version of the travel ban that barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that a second version of the travel ban, which targeted six Muslim-majority countries, amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling later allowed the administration to partially reinstate a 120-day ban on refugees, as well as a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
On Tuesday, Hawaii filed a proposed amended complaint that seeks to add new plaintiffs who it says will be harmed if the new travel ban is allowed to go into effect.
The administration will have until Saturday to respond before Watson issues a ruling.
The state seeks to as plaintiffs an American citizen of Yemeni descent who has lived in Hawaii for nearly 30 years and a University of Hawaii professor whose Iranian mother wants to visit him.
The new plaintiffs are identified as Doe 1 and 2 because they “reasonably fear severe retaliation in the event their names are publicly disclosed,” Katyal wrote.
Another new plaintiff would be the Muslim Association of Hawaii, which the state says will be harmed financially because it relies on contributions from its members and visitors to the mosque.
The policy will “hamper the mosque’s ability to welcome new members and visitors from the affected countries and will cause current members to leave the country,” Katyal wrote.
Hawaii also argues that, like the two earlier versions, the new travel ban impairs the state’s tourism industry, undermines its refugee resettlement program and prevents the University of Hawaii from recruiting qualified students and faculty members.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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