SEATTLE -- Washington state on Monday filed an amended complaint, making a case for the injunction granted by U.S. District Judge James Robart last month to apply to the new executive order.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said last Thursday he would be asking Robart to review the new ban. The official request asks for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
Robart issued a restraining order against the initial ban, a ruling that was later upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The state argues that two key provisions of that travel ban are nearly identical in the new executive order and, therefore, are subject to the injunction. Trump's revised ban suspends new visas for people from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days: Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. It also temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
In the amended complaint, Washington's AG argues the second version of the executive order will still cause "severe and immediate harms to the states." The complaint lists residents who may be separated from family members; students and prospective students from the countries affected who may not be able to study at local universities and colleges, as well as healthcare providers who recruit foreign doctors.
The complaint also talks about damages to tourism and local businesses, noting that immigration is an economic driver for Washington state, particularly because of the tech industry.
California on Monday also requested to join Washington's suit. Robart has allowed Oregon to officially join. Maryland, Massachusetts and New York have also asked the court for permission to join, meaning their individual cases of alleged harms and damages would become part of the larger case.
"Each state is asserting their problems with the executive order, their challenges for their students, their challenges for the people in their state, their challenges for businesses in their state, so it helps us make our argument that we have standing, that there are real harms," Attorney General Ferguson told KING 5. "No question it helps."
The travel order is scheduled to go into effect Thursday.
Judge Robart, on Monday morning, gave the Department of Justice until Tuesday afternoon to file a response. He also said a hearing would not likely occur before March 15, the day before the order is scheduled to take effect.
In a court filing last week, the Department of Justice argued the new order's policies were "substantially different from the policies in the first order. The DOJ also notes a list of circumstances when waivers may be appropriate in the new order.
However, AG Ferguson argues that statements made by Trump administration advisors contradict that position. Comments from Stephen Miller and press secretary Sean Spicer are referenced in the amended complaint.
"Stephen Miller, for example, mentioned just a week or two ago that they weren’t going to change the policy of the new executive. Basically, it’s going to be the same policy; they’re just going to make some minor changes," explained Ferguson. "We put that into our new motio, because it shows they’re not really trying to change this Muslim ban. They’re making some edits around the edges that are important, but it doesn’t change the fundamental aspects of this order, and they’re still unconstitutional."
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