President Donald Trump’s Revised Travel Ban will be scrutinized in federal courtrooms across the country on Wednesday, when it is to take effect.
According to Associated Press (AP) more than a half-dozen states are trying to derail the executive order affecting travelers from six Muslim-majority nations.
In Maryland, a U.S. judge will hear arguments from the American Civil Liberties Union and others who want to stop the new directive.
Hawaii’s lawsuit is heading to federal court in Honolulu and will argue that the new order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.
Washington state, which successfully sued to block the original ban, wants its own hearing before a federal judge in Seattle while five other states, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.
Washington state Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, is pushing for a hearing before Judge James Robart, who halted the original ban last month. Ferguson wants Robart to apply the ruling to the new ban.
Ferguson says the new order is unconstitutional and harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon who rely on foreign workers.
Ismail Elshikh, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the ban will prevent his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting.
However, the federal government will argue that the allegations are pure speculation as Justice Department lawyers insist that the president is authorized to restrict or suspend entry into the United States.
Federal lawyers say the revised Travel Ban is “substantially different” from the original directive.
Meanwhile, immigrant advocacy groups and the ACLU are also suing in Maryland.
They will ask a judge there early Wednesday to issue an injunction, saying it’s illegal to reduce the number of refugees in the middle of a fiscal year.
The lawsuit is broader, but the ACLU expects a ruling on that part of the case even if other aspects of the ban are blocked elsewhere.
Washington and Hawaii say the order is an effort to carry out the Muslim ban he promised during his campaign and is a violation of the First Amendment, which bars the government from favouring or disfavouring any religion.