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. The new order still applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen but has explicit waivers for various categories of immigrants with ties to the United States. Following the legal challenges from several states and the protests that swept the country, the White House wrote a revised version of the ban, taking Iraq off the list and carving out exemptions for visa holders.
A group of states joined Robart in the effort to block Trump's executive order and halt the travel ban. "Hawaii also offers nothing to show that the new order - much narrower in its scope - will have the same effect".
The new order forbids visas from being issued to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days; Iraq was removed from the list on the original travel ban.
"Regardless of the administration's efforts to clean up the language in this latest version of the President's travel ban, it continues to unlawfully discriminate against people due to their religion, nationality or country of birth", said Matt Adams, legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The states then quote an adviser to Mr Trump, who said the new ban reflects "the same basic policy" and that "the goal is obviously to maintain the way that we did it the first time".
The new lawsuit - filed on Monday by Washington's attorney general and joined by prosecutors representing California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and OR - asks for U.S. District Judge James Robart to stop the new travel ban from taking effect on Thursday.
The judge said on Monday that the government has until Tuesday to respond to the states' motions. It also temporarily shuts down the US refugee program.
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Finally, the state of Hawaii, which filed the first lawsuit against the new travel ban, is scheduled for a hearing on March 15.
Ferguson says that key provisions in the new ban - which Trump signed last Monday - are substantially similar to the old travel ban, so the restraining order should still apply. On Feb. 3, Robart acted on one of those suits, issuing a nationwide restraining order prohibiting federal agents from enforcing the ban. The revised Executive Order will continue to harm the states.
In a letter on Saturday, the 134 experts said the revised order would "jeopardize our relationships with allies and partners on whom we rely for vital counter-terrorism cooperation and information-sharing".
The Trump administration unveiled its second executive order travel ban on March 6.
If the travel ban ends up as an earnest review of policies and procedures that leads to improvement in our vetting process, that would be a step forward.
Filing yesterday's amicus brief are attorneys general from Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.