California joins multi-state lawsuit against revised immigration order

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U.S. District Judge James Robart, the federal judge who issued the order to temporarily halt the nationwide implementation of President Donald Trump's initial travel ban, said he will not rule immediately on whether his restraining order covers the administration's new travel ban, reports the Associated Press.

Critics say the new order is still essentially a ban on Muslims coming to the United States and therefore unconstitutional because it singles out people of a certain religion for discrimination.

The state of Washington has asked a federal court to extend a national injunction so that it halts Donald Trump's revised travel ban, as the coalition of Democratic states challenging the president's controversial order continues to grow.

Just like the original travel ban, version 2.0 is facing legal challenges. NY and OR asked to join Washington's legal action.

In opposition to the request for a temporary restraining order, the DOJ argued (PDF) that Hawaii presented "no justiciable claim at all". However, Iraq was taken off the list because of its cooperation with the USA on the fight against Daesh, officials said. A coalition of advocacy groups, including the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and HIAS, Inc., have asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to block the order in its entirety. Donovan condemned the initial Executive Order as unconstitutional and filed amicus briefs in support of previous legal challenges to that order brought by Washington, Virginia and NY. "You can't tweet your way out of a 9th Court of Appeals decision".

The Hawaii case, meanwhile, names Ismail Elshikh, an imam with family in Syria, as a co-plaintiff.

Robart on Thursday granted Oregon's request to join Washington and Minnesota in the case opposing the travel ban.

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Trump signed his first executive order travel ban, which was touted as an anti-terrorism measure, on January 27.

But it represents the first of several challenges brought against Trump's newly amended executive order, issued on March 6 and due to go into effect on March 16, to draw a court ruling in opposition to its enforcement. The new order still applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen but has explicit waivers for various categories of immigrants with ties to the United States.

In its suit, the ACLU will point to remarks by Trump and his associates, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, that explicitly described the order as a "Muslim ban".

But the states that sued Trump over the original executive order have popped back to the surface with gusto, saying that merely changing who is exempted under the order doesn't make it constitutional and the new ban "differs only cosmetically".

"In a statement Monday, Becerra said the order is still unconstitutional, despite the changes".

Despite the support, no states have filed documents asking to be a part of Hawaii's lawsuit.

Other states are joining Washington in its effort to stop the new travel ban. Unlike the first order, the new ban won't affect current visa holders and removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.