Hawaii sues Trump over controversial travel ban

Published: Feb. 3, 2017 at 4:03 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2017 at 12:43 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has sued President Trump over his controversial travel ban, joining other states in filing federal lawsuits seeking to quash the executive order.

State Attorney General Doug Chin announced the suit Friday, the same day that a judge in Seattle temporarily blocked the ban nationwide.

U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle ruled late Friday against government lawyers' claims that Washington state and Minnesota did not have the standing to challenge Trump's ban and said they had showed their case was likely to succeed.

The two states won a temporary restraining order -- effective nationwide -- to the travel ban while the court considers the lawsuit. The order blocks immigrants and refugees from traveling to the United States from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Court challenges to the order have been filed nationwide from states and advocacy groups, and Hawaii joined the growing list Friday.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to argue that the ban is legal and aimed at keeping Americans safe.

Chin told reporters in announcing the state's suit that the order "affects our state in a unique way."

The "illegal order," he said, will also have a "chilling effect on tourism."

"The president must follow the law and follow the Constitution," Chin said. "The executive order that President Trump issued ... keeps Hawaii families apart, blocks Hawaii residents from traveling. It harms Hawaii's tourism industry."

Chin added that while the order only affects a small number of people in Hawaii, it is still producing a harm -- and could have more significant impacts in the future.

"We're one tweet away from President Trump announcing that one of these Asian countries is now an enemy. We have so little ability to know ... what kind of impact that will upon our foreign-born visitors," he said.

The executive order has spurred widespread protest nationally.

On Friday, the State Department said the order resulted in less than 60,000 visas being revoked. That number differed from a figure shared by a Justice Department lawyer, who told a judge the number was more than 100,000.

The order, signed last week, blocks travel to visa holders and refugees from seven nations — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

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