California will be joining Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, and MA in challenging the travel ban before a federal judge, Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday.
Ferguson attempted to convince U.S. District Judge James Robart to simply extend his stay of the first travel ban to the second, but Robart ruled late Friday night that plaintiffs needed to file an amended complaint to convince him that the same constitutional issues remain. Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and now California also asked the court for permission to join the lawsuit.
On Wednesday, Hawaii filed suit against the Trump administration to stop the ban, which the president issued on Monday. Hawaii has launched its own lawsuit, reports the Boston Globe.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday the administration believes the revised travel ban will stand up to legal scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan has reportedly halted interviews for people applying for special visas, which are created to help those who assisted U.S. troops in Afghanistan and whose lives are now in danger because of it. Afghanistan is not on the list of six countries temporarily banned from travel to the US.
Media caption " We trust President Trump on travel ban" What is different about the new order?
Faith leaders, politicians: New immigration order still anti-Muslim
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a statement Thursday calls the executive order "a Muslim ban by another name". In it, Judge James Robart wrote he can't rule on the new order for procedural reasons.
This new ban will have the same impact as the older version, but is written in a way to avoid challenges by the court. "Cutting some illegal aspects of President Trump's original travel ban does not cure his affront to our Constitution". He listed "biometrics" and "updating lists of people within their country that pose a threat" as some of the specific steps Iraq took after the first travel ban. But in January, after Trump's first order, she introduced two bills in Congress that she said were meant to prevent Trump from blocking entire categories of immigrants unilaterally.
In January, Trump issued an executive order without warning that temporarily barred travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, suspended the Syrian refugee program and temporarily halted refugee admissions from other nations.
The new directive says refugees already approved by the state department can enter the US. "Further, the order's drastic reduction in the number of refugees to be resettled in this fiscal year after the 120-day moratorium weakens this country's ability to provide global leadership and jeopardizes our national security interests by failing to support the stability of our allies that are struggling to host large numbers of refugees", the letter reads.
The attorney general also cited the statements of Stephen Miller, one of Trump's senior advisers, who said on February 21 that the difference between the two executive orders was "mostly minor technical differences".
Judge Robart ordered the Trump administration to respond by Tuesday evening but said if he did grant Washington's request for a hearing, he would not schedule one before March 15.