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US state of Hawaii asks judge to block President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban

Demonstrators protest President ’s travel ban outside the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on March 16, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by AFP)

The US state of is challenging President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban, saying it is just the outgrowth of his campaign pledge to prevent Muslims from entering .
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.
Supreme Court tosses travel ban challenge
A challenge to the third version of the ban is also proceeding in Maryland, where the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups had previously sued the administration over an earlier executive order.
However, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided against that lawsuit on Tuesday, throwing out an appeals court ruling that had struck down the previous travel ban.
The high court did not act on a separate challenge by Hawaii, which features a challenge to the 120-day refugee ban, which expires on October 24.
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.