Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:45PM
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (Photo by AP)
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (Photo by AP)

The US state of California has become the seventh state to join a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

On Monday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined state attorneys in Washington, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts and Minnesota in challenging the new order, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Last month, our courts put a lid on the unconstitutional and un-American Trump Muslim travel ban because Americans stood up and demanded it,” Becerra said in a statement.

Furthermore, he said, “The victory for lawful permanent residents and current visa holders was welcome news for everyone, especially the victims’ families. But the fight for fair and lawful treatment of all who would seek permission to enter our country is not over."

The states asked James Robart, a US federal judge in Seattle who had ordered a temporary nationwide halt to the first controversial ban, to block the new order.

Demonstrators support a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle that granted a nationwide temporary restraining order against the travel ban, February 4, 2017. (photo by AFP)

However, the Seattle judge has declined to immediately freeze the new executive order, saying that a formal complaint over the revised travel ban, which goes into effect March 16, needed to be filed before he can make a decision.

Hawaii was first to file a lawsuit against the revised travel ban, saying the executive order will harm the state’s Muslim population, foreign college students and tourist sector.

A hearing on the state’s request will be heard on Wednesday.

The new order maintains a 90-day ban on travel to the US by citizens of Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, but excludes Iraq and applies the restriction only to new visa applicants. It also removed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

In his statement, Becerra said the order is still unconstitutional, despite the changes.

“The Trump administration may have changed the text of the now-discredited Muslim travel ban, but they didn’t change its unconstitutional intent and effect,” he said.

“It is still an attack on people — women and children, professors and business colleagues, seniors and civic leaders — based on their religion and national origin,” he added.

The Justice Department has argued that the new order “falls outside the scope” of the original injunction. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the travel ban a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority and vowed to enforce and defend it, adding that US attorneys who disagreed were welcome to leave.