California joins legal challenge to revised Trump travel ban

Washington state has again sued Donald Trump, asking the judge who blocked the president's first travel ban targeting immigrants and visitors from several Muslim-majority countries to extend his restraining order to the revised order.

On Wednesday Hawaii filed its own lawsuit against Trump's revised travel ban, saying the order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.

In addition, the states of Washington and Minnesota asked Seattle-based U.S. District Court Judge James Robart to confirm that his existing injunction against key parts of Trump's original travel ban executive order blocks similar portions of the revised directive.

The Trump administration says it believes its revised order is legal.

California joined a lawsuit challenging President Trump's revised travel ban Monday, becoming a plaintiff alongside six other states opposing the controversial order.

That promise - although watered down - now stands at the heart of the legal challenges.

On Friday, the Trump administration asked the 46 USA attorneys appointed by the former president to resign, including Robert Capers, who served as the attorney for Eastern District of NY.

He files a lawsuit against the Trump administration, and asks for a temporary restraining order to stop the ban.

The modified executive order reduced the number of excluded counties - removing Iraq from the list - and lifted the indefinite refugee travel ban for Syrians. The judge can choose to block the executive order - like Seattle judge Robart did for the first ban - or allow it to take effect.

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But refugee resettlement organizations say Trump's executive orders are putting families from war-ravaged nations at risk.

The Washington case has become the focal point of resistance to Trump's revised order with the Democratic states of Minnesota and OR already part of the challenge and the states of New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and California requesting to join the legal action. It replaces an earlier order that was held up by a federal court of appeals.

He set a March 21 date for a full hearing of the case.

"Injunctions are not suggestions", lawyers for the state of Washington wrote.

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. A previous exemption for religious minorities (non-Muslims) is out, and there are exemptions carved out for green card holders and those with valid visas.

In response to the new policy, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has said that it is waiting to see how the policy will impact agents.

This is the Trump administration's second attempt at this controversial policy, and, while the newest iteration is not as disconcerting as the first, it leaves many questions unanswered and underscores the need for a coherent immigration and counterterrorism policy path going forward.

The U.S. Justice Department said in a filing this week the original order had been revoked and the court's restraining order does not limit the government's ability to immediately enforce the new order.

According to the lawsuit, Elshikh, who joined Hawaii's lawsuit as a co-plaintiff in February, has a mother-in-law whose visa application is still pending, and he fears that she will be denied entry to the United States.

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