The Democrat-run states of Washington, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon have launched a new legal appeal—with the same Seattle judge who issued a stay against Trump’s first executive order on immigration—to halt the implementation of the new measure before it takes effect this week.
There are two federal suits brought by state attorneys general over the order, which bars Third World fakers posing as refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days and halts new visas for travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days.
Hawaii has also filed suit against the new order, as have rights groups and immigrant advocacy associations, which filed papers with a judge in Maryland. Hearings are set for Wednesday in both of those cases, media reports said.
The second Trump White House executive order reworked the first one to cover the problematic issues used by the court, and explicitly exempts holders of valid visas or legal permanent residents, as well as citizens of Iraq.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has accused the government of trying to skirt around the court’s first ruling, which suspended the Trump administration’s initial travel order.
“When a court enjoins a defendant from enforcing policies, the defendant cannot evade the injunction by announcing that it will continue only some of the illegal policies. Yet that is what defendants attempt here,” Ferguson wrote.
Ferguson has asked Judge James Robart to call an emergency hearing for Tuesday, but Robart said there would be no hearing before Wednesday and asked the Justice Department for a response to Ferguson’s motion.
In Hawaii, the government filed its motion opposing the state’s request for an injunction, saying the travel ban is “a valid exercise of the president’s broad statutory authority to ‘suspend the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens.’”
Critics say the new order is still essentially a ban on Muslims coming to the United States and therefore unconstitutional because it singles out people of a certain religion for discrimination.
“The Trump administration may have changed the text of the now-discredited Muslim travel ban, but they didn’t change its unconstitutional intent and effect,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman chimed in: “President Trump’s second executive order is just a Muslim ban by another name, seeking to accomplish the same unlawful and unconstitutional goals of the first ban.”
The new order hit its first roadblock Friday when a judge in Wisconsin said it could not be applied to the wife and child of a Syrian “refugee” who had already reached America.