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Hawaii News

State begins round 3 in fight against Trump’s travel bans

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / JUNE 30

    State Attorney General Douglas Chin speaks during a news conference in Honolulu about President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Lawyers representing Hawaii in the state’s long-running fight against Trump administration travel bans filed a motion Friday seeking to challenge the latest version of the policy.

The state asked a federal judge to lift his order halting the state’s previous lawsuit so it can file an amended lawsuit targeting Trump’s third travel ban.

The latest travel ban removes Sudan from the list of affected countries and adds Chad and North Korea, along with several officials from the government of Venezuela. It’s scheduled to take effect Oct. 18.

“Hawaii fought the first and second travel bans because they were illegal and unconstitutional efforts to implement the president’s Muslim ban,” Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the third travel ban is more of the same.”

The motion said the new version of the travel ban “flouts the immigration laws’ express prohibition on nationality discrimination, grossly exceeds the authority Congress delegated to the president, lacks any rational connection to the problems it purports to address and seems to effectuate the president’s promise to ban Muslims from the United States.”

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.

The state later amended that lawsuit to add a plaintiff: the imam of a Honolulu mosque. Hawaii has roughly 5,000 Muslims.

When Trump revised the ban, Chin amended the lawsuit to challenge that version.

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.

The court’s ruling exempted a large number of refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.

Hawaii successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.

An attorney representing Hawaii notified the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday that the state intends to challenge the third travel ban.

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