The state of Hawaii has become the first state to sue to stop President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban. Attorneys for the state filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Honolulu. The state had previously sued over Trump’s initial travel ban, but that lawsuit was put on hold while other cases played out across the country.
Hawaii gave notice Tuesday night that it intended to file an amended lawsuit to cover the new ban, which plans to goes into effect March 16. The revised executive order bars new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program. It doesn’t apply to travelers who already have visas.
Hawaii’s lawsuit says the order will harm Hawaii’s Muslim population, tourism and foreign students. “Hawaii is special in that it has always been non-discriminatory in both its history and constitution,” Attorney General Doug Chin said. “Twenty percent of the people are foreign-born, 100,000 are non-citizens and 20 percent of the labor force is foreign-born.
The move came after a federal judge in Honolulu said earlier Wednesday that Hawaii can move forward with the lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted the state’s request to continue with the case and set a hearing for March 15 – the day before Trump’s order is due to go into effect. It bars new visas for people from the six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program.
Officials in heavily Democratic Hawaii previously sued to stop Trump’s initial ban but that suit was placed on hold amid legal challenges around the country. A day after Trump’s administration announced its new executive order, attorneys for the state filed their proposed revision in federal court Tuesday night, along with a motion asking that it be allowed to proceed.
Watson approved that motion and said the state will file the final lawsuit later Wednesday. The Hawaii attorney general’s office did not provide further details on timing but has said the ban will harm Hawaii’s Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.