Trump travel ban: legal challenges in seven states against order
Legal battles are playing out across the United States as opponents of Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations take their fight to court. The order issued last week temporarily bans travel for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily halts the US refugee program.
Here’s what’s happening across the country:
A federal judge in Seattle has temporarily blocked Trump’s travel ban. US district judge James Robart granted a temporary restraining order on Friday at the request of Washington state and Minnesota that is effective nationwide.
Lawyers for the federal government argued the states don’t have standing to challenge the travel order and said Congress gave the president authority to make decisions on national security and admitting immigrants. But Washington state attorney general, Bob Ferguson, who brought the action, said the order was causing significant harm to residents and effectively mandated discrimination. Minnesota joined the suit this week.
A judge has allowed Virginia to join a lawsuit challenging the travel ban.
On Friday US district judge Leonie Brinkema greatly expanded the scope of a lawsuit that was originally focused only on permanent residents or green-card holders. Brinkema indicated a willingness to consider cases involving anyone who had been issued a visa and had it revoked.
A government lawyer in the case said more than 100,000 people have had visas revoked since the ban went into effect, but the state department later said the number was close to 60,000. The higher figure included visas that were actually exempted by the travel ban, as well as expired visas.
A federal judge in Boston declined to extend a temporary injunction against Trump’s travel ban.
Late on Friday, US district judge Nathaniel Gorton refused to renew an order prohibiting the detention or removal of people as part of Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigrants.
That means the seven-day, temporary injunction granted 29 January will expire as scheduled Sunday.
Hawaii filed a lawsuit in Honolulu on Friday to stop the travel ban. The state attorney general, Doug Chin, said Trump’s executive order keeps Hawaii families apart and keeps residents from travelling. He says it degrades values Hawaii has worked hard to protect. Chin said the order also will make foreign travellers feel unwelcome, which is a problem for Hawaii’s tourism-powered economy.
On Thursday a Brooklyn judge extended a temporary restraining order on the travel ban until 21 February. US district judge Carol Amon’s ruling extended a stay that had been issued last Saturday by a different judge that would have expired 11 February. Amon extended the order to give more time government and civil liberties organisations to file paperwork. The justice department said it will ask for the case to be thrown out.
A federal judge in Detroit says green-card holders shouldn’t be affected by the travel order. The Arab-American Civil Rights League argued in a suit filed this week in Detroit that the executive action is unconstitutional and targets immigrant communities.
A restraining order released on Friday by district judge Victoria Roberts covered legal permanent residents, not some others that also are part of the lawsuit. She said lawyers for the government clarified to her that the ban doesn’t apply to “lawful” permanent residents.
Three California university students are challenging the ban. Their federal suit, filed on Thursday in San Francisco, says the ban is unconstitutional and has created hardships for students. It alleges that a student Stanford university now can’t visit her husband in Yemen; another Yemeni at San Diego’s Grossmont College can’t resume studies there; and an unidentified University of California Berkeley doctoral candidate from Iran feared losing a job opportunity.