• Thursday, October 18, 2018
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Hawaii man with Syrian family wants to join travel ban suit

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The Muslim Association of Hawaii mosque in Manoa.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin spoke at a news conference on Feb. 3

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Hawaii’s attorney general wants to add a new plaintiff to the state’s lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from seven mostly Muslim countries: Ismail Elshikh, the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, whose mother-in-law is a Syrian national living in Syria.

State Attorney General Doug Chin is asking a judge to partially lift a stay in the case to allow the state to file an amended complaint that details the effect the travel ban would have on Elshikh’s family and others in Hawaii.

Elshikh, his wife and their five children are U.S. citizens, according to court documents the state filed Wednesday. The executive order will prevent his mother-in-law from visiting the family in Hawaii: “The family is devastated,” said the state’s proposed amended complaint. The travel ban has created additional obstacles to completing the mother-in-law’s visa application process, said Hawaii attorney general spokesman Josh Wisch.

The executive order “conveys to them a message that their own country would discriminate against individuals who share their ethnicity, including members of their own family, and who hold the same religious beliefs,” the document said.

Chin filed Hawaii’s lawsuit last week, noting that the ban will also have a “chilling effect” on the state’s tourism industry.

Hawaii has hired a Washington, D.C. law firm to help. The attorney general’s office didn’t immediately have the costs available, but Chin said the firm is working at a reduced rate.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson suspended the case while a nationwide injunction on the travel ban remains in place. Three judges— including one from Honolulu— on the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday against immediately reinstating Trump’s travel ban, which temporarily suspended the nation’s refugee program and immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries that have raised terrorism concerns.

Watson is giving the federal government until Monday to respond to Hawaii’s request.

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  • Hawaii AG is wasting his time and wasting Hawaii money. Trump’s ban is not in effect and, even if it was, it is a temporary ban. Why is Hawaii AG hiring an outside law firm? Is the Hawaii AG and his staff not capable of doing it?

  • “Chin filed Hawaii’s lawsuit last week, noting that the ban will also have a “chilling effect” on the state’s tourism industry.”

    Seems unlikely. Do we really get any tourists from those 7 countries? And the Syrian refugees are unlikely to be coming as tourists with deep pockets.

  • Okay. If there are more BOMBS going off in our good ole USA all you folks against the ban don’t cry any tears for me. The Syrian President himself said that there are terrorists disguised as refugees going into countries. Straight from the horses mouth! America needs change. We been stuck in so many crisis it’s pathetic. Shallow minded people with only tunnel vision. Can’t see the big picture. Only concerned about THEMSELVES.

  • Yes Mr. State AG, why are you spending so much time and effort of the people’s money when the travel ban is in abeyance and likely headed to and be decided by SCOTUS? You could only get one specific example to defend? How about doing something tangible for the State…oh I forgot you defended our inefficient and ineffective DOE from a Ewa State Rep. asking only for the basics to help the students of Campbell High. The Ige administration continues to disappoint.

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