Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has asked a federal judge to lift his stay halting the state’s case against US President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
In a filing issued on Wednesday, the state said that lifting the stay would allow it to challenge the latest version of the ban before it’s due to come into force on October 18 and could block the issuance of tens of thousands of US visas each year. Five other states – Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and California – are also involved in the case.
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The last version of the travel ban — which targeted people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — lasted for 90 days and expired on September 24.
The new, open-ended ban would remove Sudan from the list and restrict people from Chad and North Korea from traveling to the US, as well as certain government officials from Venezuela.
Ferguson’s filing said that the six states challenging the ban had spoken with the lawyers representing the Trump administration and that they do not oppose lifting the stay. Administration officials have maintained that the latest ban comes on the back of a lengthy, objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the US.
The Trump ban’s legal setbacks
The Trump administration’s first set of measures limiting selected nationals from entering the United States sparked chaos and protests across US airports when it came into effect in January. It was halted in February when a federal judge in Washington state put it on hold on discriminatory grounds.
The White House proposed a second version in March, but that was then blocked by two different federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii before it could take affect.
However, in late June the Republican majority Supreme Court ruled that a scaled-back version was constitutionally legal. The ban eventually came into effect July and remained in place until it expired at the end of last month.
On Tuesday, the high court dismissed Maryland’s case seeking to throw out the ban, although a ruling on Hawaii’s case is still pending.
dm/bk (AP, Reuters)