The state of Hawaii on Wednesday became the first state to launch a legal challenge against President Donald Trump's revised Muslim travel ban, saying in court filings that the executive order is already damaging the state's tourism industry and its foreign university students.
The state is requesting emergency court intervention in the form of a temporary restraining order barring the ban's enforcement across the nation, Reuters reported.
The revised order, which was drafted after the first was blocked by legal challenges from every corner, is slated to go into effect on March 16. It does not apply to permanent legal residents or travelers who already have visas. Iraq was also dropped from the list of Middle Eastern countries subjected to a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S., leaving six countries affected. The order also temporarily shutters the U.S. refugee program.
Hawaii's attorney general, Douglas Chin, told ABC News that battling the ban is especially important to the people of his state, a diverse group that remembers the xenophobia that fueled the internment of Japanese-American residents in the state during World War II.
"Hawaii is special in that it has always been non-discriminatory in both its history and constitution," Chin said. "Twenty percent of the people are foreign-born, 100,000 are non-citizens and 20 percent of the labor force is foreign-born."
The plaintiff in the state's case is Ismail Elshikh, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen and imam at the Muslim Association of Hawaii whose mother-in-law resides in Syria, according to court filings.
"This second Executive Order is infected with the same legal problems as the first Order," the state wrote in the filings, as quoted by Reuters. The order subjects Elshikh and other Muslims to "discrimination and second-class treatment."