Hawaii Readies For Third Fight Against Trump Travel Ban 3.0

"The administration’s strategy is crystal clear. It’s to create uncertainty every step of the way," said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin.

Hawaii is getting another chance to challenge President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban.

A federal judge granted the state’s attorneys the opportunity to present its case for why the state should be allowed to continue its longstanding fight against the administration’s attempts to bar some foreign nationals from entering the country. 

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin on Thursday notified the U.S. Supreme Court of the state’s intention to challenge Trump’s latest revised ban ― known informally as Travel Ban 3.0 ― which broadened the list of countries that will be affected by the executive order. 

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson on Friday said he’d give Hawaii until Tuesday morning to file a new motion making a case for why the state should be allowed to fight Travel Ban 3.0, according to the Associated Press. The White House has until Oct. 14 to respond. The third revised ban is set to take effect on Oct. 18.

Speaking to HuffPost one hour before Watson made his Friday announcement, Chin said: “The administration’s strategy is crystal clear. It’s to create uncertainty every step of the way, starting with the first travel ban going all the way to the third one.” 

Chin, who has been continuously challenging Trump’s travel ban since February, cited the administration’s first executive order issued earlier this year, which caused confusion and chaos at U.S. airports as arriving individuals, some with green cards, from the affected countries were immediately turned back.

“What’s really outrageous about these executive orders is that by creating this uncertain environment, it affects how people feel about the U.S. and the state of Hawaii all around the world,” Chin told HuffPost, adding that Travel Ban 3.0 does not have a set end date. That could also likely affect Hawaii’s tourism industry, Chin explained, which is the island chain’s number one economic driver.

The Trump administration announced his latest travel restrictions last month in a proclamation that targeted the countries listed in the earlier version of the ban ― Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia ― and added North Korea and Chad. Several government officials from Venezuela were also included in Travel Ban 3.0. Sudan had been dropped from the ban.

The ban’s inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela, non-Muslim majority countries, appears to be the administration’s attempt to distance itself from Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric ― which is one of Chin’s main arguments on why the travel bans are unconstitutional and a reason why a federal judge in Hawaii halted Trump’s ban in March.

Chin called the addition of the two added countries “a thin disguise” over Trump’s campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the country.  

As Chin and Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) co-wrote in an op-ed for HuffPost last month, the fight against these bans is “important to Hawaii because discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, or religion goes against the very essence of what makes Hawaii – and America – such a special place.”

“It’s illegal, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s wrong,” they wrote.

The Trump administration on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss two cases challenging the travel ban, including Hawaii’s lawsuit, on the grounds that they are moot now that the ban is revised, the New York Times reported.

In a letter to the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote: “A case is moot when a challenged government regulation is replaced by one that is not substantially similar.”



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