Hawaii asks judge to block Trump’s latest travel ban

The US state of Hawaii is challenging President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban, saying it is just the outgrowth of his campaign pledge to prevent Muslims from entering the United States.

Attorneys representing the state asked a judge in Honolulu on Tuesday to stop the administration from enforcing the latest version of its travel ban, scheduled to go into effect October 17.

Trump’s third travel ban, which was announced September 24, affects the citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

The ban removes Sudan from the list of affected countries and adds Chad and North Korea, along with several officials from the government of Venezuela. Iraq, which was affected in the initial travel ban, was removed from the list in March.

Hawaii said the travel ban is unconstitutional. The state is challenging the president’s “continuing efforts to impose a sweeping policy banning the entry of refugees and nationals of Muslim-majority countries,” according to the proposed complaint.

The court documents state that the addition of non-Muslim countries is “almost entirely symbolic” as some are already subject to extensive restrictions.

In March, US District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu agreed with Hawaii that Trump’s travel ban discriminated against people based on their nationality and religion.

Tuesday’s motion came after Watson decided last week to give Hawaii the chance to make its case against the latest ban.

The government will have until Saturday to respond before Watson issues a ruling.

Revised a few times, the ban originally followed a campaign pledge by Trump for a “complete” shutdown of Muslims entering the US on the pretext of preventing terrorist attacks.

The initial travel ban, as well as the revised order, was blocked by federal judges in several US states.

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