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Hawaii intends to file a legal challenge Wednesday to President Donald Trump’s new order restricting entry to the United States from six majority Muslim nations, the state said in a legal filing.
Court documents filed in U.S. District Court of Hawaii asks a judge to approve a briefing schedule for a forthcoming motion seeking a temporary restraining order over the new executive order, which the state’s attorney general has called a "Muslim ban 2.0."
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Hawaii sued over Trump’s initial executive order, which was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle after the state of Washington challenged the immigration ban. Hawaii will file an amended complaint on Wednesday, according to the court document filed Tuesday.
The court documents filed Tuesday do not put forth Hawaii's tailored legal argument against the new presidential executive order, which Trump signed on Monday a month after a federal judge blocked his initial order.
The new order narrows the countries affected from seven to six — Iraq was aken off the list — and drops a previous section that would have indefinitely suspended admission of Syrian refugees. It also removed language preferencing entry to the U.S. by religious minorities facing persecution in their home countries.
Outside counsel for Hawaii, Neal Katyal, said on MSNBC Tuesday that Trump’s new executive order contradicts the president’s past argument that “if the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week.” The new order doesn’t take effect until March 16.
"Of course, this time not only did he take a week but he took 10 days," Katyal said. "So I really think it just underscores the lack of national security justification here — this isn’t about protecting us from bad guys rushing into the country, this is about politics.”
The schedule agreed to by Hawaii and the federal government is designed to have a court rule on Trump’s new executive order before it is set to take effect, according to the court document filed Tuesday.
Trump's new order suspends for 90 days entry to the United States from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. It also puts on hold for 120 days the admission of refugees to the country. The new order specifically exempts those with green cards, and it does not revoke existing visas.
"This new executive order is nothing more than Muslim Ban 2.0. Under the pretense of national security, it still targets immigrants and refugees," Hawaii Attorney General Douglas C. Chin, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. "It leaves the door open for even further restrictions."
Execution of the Jan. 27 executive order caused chaos at airports, with students, professors and green card holders among those reporting that they were turned away or detained and subjected to lengthy travel delays and questioning.
Also Tuesday, lawyers for the Justice Department asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss a lawsuit over the previous order.
In that case, Washington state successfully sued over the Jan. 27 order — a federal judge in Seattle blocked it — and an appeals court refused to reinstate it. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in the new order "the president has capitulated on numerous key provisions blocked by our lawsuit."
Trump, who has pledged "extreme vetting" during the campaign and after becoming president, has denied claims that the travel restrictions are a "Muslim ban."