US state of Washington asks judge to block President Donald Trump’s new travel ban

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US President Donald Trump, VOA

Washington, March 10, 2017: The US state of Washington has said that it would ask a federal judge to block President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, joining Hawaii as the second state to challenge the executive order, the media reported.

The move comes a day after Hawaii launched its own lawsuit, and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, said that despite the significant changes to the President’s previous executive order, the new travel ban still suffers from legal flaws, CNN reported.

“The revised executive order does narrow” its impact, but “there is still harm,” Ferguson said in a news conference on Thursday.

“This is effectively a Muslim ban”.

Attorney generals from Massachusetts, New York and Oregon also confirmed that they were planning to join the lawsuit. Minnesota is already part of the challenge to Trump’s actions.

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Trump signed the new executive order on Monday banning foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days and banning all refugees for 120 days, but excluded green card holders and those with existing valid visas from the order.

The original ban included Iraq, but the new order does not. Ferguson said that “change doesn’t pass muster”, reports CNN.

Rather than a seven nation ban, it is only “now a six nation ban”, he said.

“The language is virtually identical”.

According to Ferguson, US District Court Judge James Robart’s current temporary restraining order halting the original travel ban should block implementation of the new executive order as well.

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Robart had issued a nationwide temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the original January 27 ban on February 3.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Thursday said the executive order was consistent with federal law.

“We’re going to go forward on this,” Spicer said, adding “We feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given.” (IANS)