Hawaii to block travel ban
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
The Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — Lawyers representing Hawaii asked a judge Tuesday to stop the Trump administration from enforcing the latest version of its travel ban.
The updated ban — set to take effect next week — is a continuation of President Donald Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States,” Hawaii said in court documents filed Tuesday in federal court.
Hawaii is seeking a nationwide order against the ban that removes Sudan from the list of affected countries and adds Chad and North Korea, along with several officials from the government of Venezuela.
The addition of non-Muslim countries is “almost entirely symbolic,” the court documents state, noting that North Korea is already subject to extensive restrictions.
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has been battling President Donald Trump on travel bans since February, after the president sought to bar new visas for people from seven mostly Muslim countries.
In March, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu agreed with Hawaii that the ban amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.
A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and a 120-day ban on refugees from anywhere in the world.
On Tuesday, Hawaii also filed a proposed amended lawsuit targeting the newest policy and adding plaintiffs who lawyers say will be harmed if it goes into effect.
That motion came after Watson decided last week that he would give Hawaii an opportunity to make its case to challenge the latest ban.
The government will have until Saturday to respond before Watson issues a ruling.
The proposed amended suit adds two new plaintiffs — an American citizen of Yemeni descent who has lived in Hawaii for nearly 30 years and a University of Hawaii professor whose mother is an Iranian national who wants to visit her son.
They were not named in the filing because they “reasonably fear severe retaliation in the event their names are publicly disclosed,” Hawaii said in a motion asking to include plaintiffs under pseudonyms.
Another new plaintiff is the Muslim Association of Hawaii, which the state says will be harmed financially because the mosque relies on contributions from members and visitors.
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,” lawyers for Hawaii said.
A challenge to the latest ban is also proceeding in Maryland, where the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups had previously sued over earlier versions of the ban.
The ACLU announced last month it would challenge the latest ban and is seeking a preliminary injunction suspending the visa and entry restrictions. A judge has scheduled a hearing in that case and two similar challenges for Monday.