Attorney general: Hawaii first to challenge revised travel ban

Image courtesy of KHON2

(KHON) — Attorney General Doug Chin says Hawaii is the first state to challenge a revised travel ban signed by President Donald Trump.

WAVY sister station KHON2 sat down with him Wednesday evening.

Chin said the state of Hawaii filed Wednesday a motion for a temporary restraining order in its federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, following the new executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations issued earlier this week.

Chin says the revised order “still has the same nation-of-origin discrimination problems it had before.” He noted that “there’s also a lot of memories that people (in Hawaii) have of nation-of-origin discrimination, including Japanese internment camps, so we really felt like we needed to challenge this order.”

READ: Second amended complaint | Motion for TRO | Memo in support

The filings ask the court to declare that sections 2 and 6 of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order signed by President Trump are contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States. The complaint asks for a nationwide injunction preventing the implementation of these sections of the Executive Order.

The Executive Order restricts immigration from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. It suspends all refugee admission for 120 days. It is scheduled to become effective on March 16, 2017.

“What’s significant about that is that’s actually before the order is supposed to take effect, so on both sides it’s ‘Let’s get a chance to litigate this before it goes into effect,’ and then that way we avoid the chaos of, do we not have an injunction, you know, a lot of those issues,” Chin said. “We would love it if the president could come up with an order that protects our borders, that protects our national security in a way that doesn’t discriminate against people based upon their nation of origin or their religion. That’s just unconstitutional.”

In the filings, Hawaii argues the following:

[W]hile the President signed a revised version on March 6 . . . we still know exactly what it means. It is another attempt by the Administration to enact a discriminatory ban that goes against the fundamental teachings of our Constitution and our immigration laws, even if it is cloaked in ostensibly neutral terms. Strikingly, the Executive Order even admits that these changes were designed to ‘avoid * * * litigation.’

Nothing of substance has changed: There is the same blanket ban on entry from Muslim-majority countries (minus one), the same sweeping shutdown of refugee admissions (absent one exception), and the same lawless warren of exceptions and waivers. The courts did not tolerate the Administration’s last attempt to hoodwink the judiciary, and they should not countenance this one.”

The second amended complaint alleges the following causes of action:

  • Defendants have violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
  • Defendants have violated the equal protection, substantive due process, and procedural due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment.
  • Sections 2 and 6 of the March 6, 2017 Executive Order violate the Immigration and Nationality Act by discriminating on the basis of nationality, ignoring and modifying the statutory criteria for determining terrorism-related inadmissibility, and exceeding the President’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • Defendants have violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.
  • Defendants have violated the substantive and procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.
    A judge will hear the injunction on March 15, a day before the ban takes effect.

Hawaii previously filed a lawsuit against the federal government, but it was put on hold when the courts blocked the first travel ban.