Washington State Wants Restraining Order Applied to New Travel Ban

Mary Emily O'Hara
Volunteer Alex Phillips Hatter, a recent graduate from University of Idaho College of Law, waits outside the international arrivals terminal where volunteers have been offering assistance since the original travel ban was announced at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington on March 5, 2017.
Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

Washington state will file a restraining order against President Trump's revamped travel ban — a move which could foreshadow a potential legal showdown between the administration and a wave of challenges to the controversial executive order.

Washington state joins Hawaii to become the second state challenging the travel ban. Oregon and New York will also join with other states expected to lend their voices to the effort in upcoming days, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday during a press conference.

Hawaii is the first state to sue over Trump's new travel ban

Washington state will ask that a temporary injunction issued last month by a federal judge on Trump's initial executive order apply to the newly revised travel ban. If upheld, this would block federal employees nationwide from enforcing the travel ban.

"It's my duty, my responsibility to act. We're not going to be bullied by threats and actions by the federal government," Ferguson said.

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Washington state's announcement comes just one day after Hawaii became the first state to sue Trump over the revised travel ban. A hearing on the suit is set for March 15 — the day before Trump's revised travel ban is scheduled to go into effect.

The original order, which Trump signed Jan. 27, barred entry for 90 days for nationals of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. It also temporarily stopped refugees from entering the U.S. and indefinitely suspended all Syrian refugee entry.

Question of intent remains for new travel order: Academic

The revamped order issued Monday removed Iraq from the list of barred countries. It also lifted the indefinite ban on refugees from Syria, instead issuing a 120-day suspension of all refugee entry and limiting the total number of refugees allowed entry in 2017 to 50,000.

At a press conference on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the revised order.

"To our allies and partners around the word, please understand this order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamic terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends," Tillerson said.