The state of Hawaii has issued the first legal challenge to US President Donald Trump's new travel ban. The state previously filed a lawsuit over the first, failed travel ban against selected Muslim-majority countries.
Attorneys for the state of Hawaii filed a lawsuit late on Wednesday against US President Donald Trump's new executive order preventing travel to the US from six Muslim-majority countries.
In a statement, Hawaiian Attorney General Doug Chin said: "This new executive order is nothing more than Muslim Ban 2.0. Under the pretense of national security, it still targets immigrants and refugees. It leaves the door open for even further restrictions. Our office is reviewing the new order and will decide what next steps may be necessary."
The state of Hawaii has claimed the new travel order violates the US Constitution and would harm its businesses and schools. US District Judge Derrick Watson agreed to the state's request to continue with the case. A hearing is scheduled for March 15, the day before the new travel ban is supposed to go into effect.
Trump's new executive order on banning travel to the US was signed on Monday. The new order halts refugee admissions for 120 days and stops the government from granting visas for people from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. Iraqis are exempt from the new travel ban, while the country was included in the first iteration.
Legal permanent residents and valid visa holders are also exempt from the new ban.
The state of Hawaii issued a legal challenge to Trump's first travel ban, too. The initial travel ban sparked protests throughout the US and caused chaos at airports.
The issue has divided the US. Polls indicate a slight majority oppose the travel bans, though there is strong support from Trump's supporters.
kbd/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)