National Security

Hawaii files challenge to Trump’s new travel order

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Hawaii is filing a challenge to President Trump’s new travel ban.

Attorneys for the state asked a federal district court judge late Tuesday to temporarily block the revised order Trump signed Monday.

In revising the executive order, Trump removed Iraq from the list of predominantly Muslim countries from which travel is temporarily banned, as well as provisions that banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and included current green card holders — changes meant to more easily defend the order in court.

Hawaii asked the court to amend its challenge to the original ban, which was put on hold after a federal district judge in Washington blocked the order nationwide.

{mosads}In the proposed complaint, the attorneys for Hawaii argue Trump’s new order is still unconstitutional.

“The Executive Order means that thousands of individuals across the United States and in Hawai‘i who have immediate family members living in the affected countries will now be unable to receive visits from those persons or to be reunited with them in the United States,” attorneys said in court filings. 

“It means that universities, employers, and other institutions throughout the United States and in Hawaii will be unable to recruit or to welcome qualified individuals from the six designated countries. It threatens certain non-citizens within the United States and in Hawaii with the possibility that they will be unable to travel abroad and return—for instance, because their visa only permits them one entry, or because their visa will have expired during the time the Executive Order is still in place.”

Ismail Elshikh, the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, has joined the state as a plaintiff in the case. Elshikh’s mother-in-law lives in Syria, and her application for an immigrant Visa was put on hold after Trump’s first executive order. 

Elsikh now fears, once again, she will be unable to join her family.

Hawaii, meanwhile, claims it will suffer profound effects from the order.

The state has 27 graduate students, 10 permanent faculty members and 30 visiting faculty members from the seven countries originally designated in the first executive order at its university, as well as numerous non-citizen residents.

“More broadly, the new executive order means that Hawai‘i will be unable to honor the commitments to nondiscrimination and diversity embodied in the State’s Constitution, laws, and policies,” state attorneys said in the 40-page complaint.

“For example, state agencies and universities cannot accept qualified applicants for open positions if they are residents of one of the six designated countries. This contravenes policies at the State’s universities and agencies that are designed to promote diversity and recruit talent from abroad.”

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the pending litigation. 

– Updated at 3:35 p.m.

Hawaii Lawsuit on Scribd


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