Trump’s revised travel order is now facing the first legal challenge as the state of Hawaii becomes the first state to file a suit against the directive.
The attorney general of Hawaii says that the revised version is fundamentally the same; he called it “Muslim Ban 2.0.”
The new directive takes effect on March 16; it places a 90-day travel ban on people from six mainly Muslim countries (except Green Card holders from those countries) and a 120-day ban on all refugees.
The previous order sparked protests at U.S. airports and was eventually halted by a federal judge.
Speaking about the new order, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said:
“Nothing of substance has changed: There is the same blanket ban on entry from Muslim-majority countries (minus one)”
He also said that despite the changes, the directive still included “same sweeping shutdown of refugee admissions (with one exception) and lawless warren of exceptions and waivers.”
The new directive bars citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria entry into the U.S. for 90 days. Iraq, which was in the list of seven countries in the initial January 27 order, has been taken off.
The latest order exempts legal residents from the affected countries and approved refugees will be no longer affected. It also lifts an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and the controversial language favoring minorities (mainly Christian) has been dropped.
The revised changes were framed in response to legal complaints, that resulted in blocking of the order by federal courts.
The judges ruled that the order was unconstitutional as it specifically targeted Muslims unfairly; the government opposed the ruling.
Among the many states who filed complaints against the first order, Hawaii was one. It said that the order would harm residents, schools, and businesses.
The suit against the new directive was filed late on Wednesday, calling it an emergency block. The case will be heard on March 15, a day before the directive is set to go into effect.
Although President Trump has not yet commented on the latest legal bid by Hawaii, he has previously insisted that he has the right to enact such orders and hit out at “so political” courts.
Mr. Chin, while speaking to a local news channel Khon 2, said that the latest ban had similar “nation-of-origin discrimination problems” as the first.
He explained that it was a particularly sensitive issue in Hawaii because of the past; the memories of Japanese internment camps during World Word Two on the Pacific island.
Mr. Chin said that the new order was still targeting the Muslims because of the countries and statements from the administration officials.
Mr. Sessions, while justifying the refugee ban, said that more than 300 refugees were under investigation for potential terror offenses, but didn’t provide any further details.
The government was criticized by the U.S. appeals court for failing to provide “evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order” had conducted a terrorist attack in the U.S.