Maryland to join other states in legal challenge to Trump’s travel ban

© Reuters. Immigration activists demonstrate outside the headquarters of the US Customs and Border Protection in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maryland became the latest state on Friday to join legal challenges against President Donald Trump‘s revised temporary travel ban, and its attorney general said it would join a lawsuit brought by Washington and other states.

Attorney General Brian Frosh said his office would formally join the lawsuit Monday.

“The administration persists in an effort to implement a policy that is inhumane and unconstitutional, but which also makes us less safe, not safer,” Frosh said in a statement.

The new travel order, which goes into effect on Wednesday, replaced a broader ban issued on January 27 that caused chaos and protests at airports.

The first order, which temporarily stopped the entry of refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, was affected by more than two dozen lawsuits.

Detractors claimed that it discriminated against Muslims and violated the US Constitution.

The administration has said that the president has broad authority to implement immigration policy and that travel rules are necessary to protect against terrorist attacks.

“Trump’s second executive order remains a Muslim ban,” Frosh said in the statement.

Washington state filed one of the lawsuits against the original ban, and last month a federal judge in Seattle ordered the policy’s emergency halt. That ruling was upheld by an appeals court in San Francisco.

Washington is now asking the court to apply the emergency halt to the new ban, arguing that it is a veiled version of the old one.

The new order maintains a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, but excludes Iraq. Refugees are still unable to enter the country for 120 days, but the new order removed an indefinite ban on all refugees from Syria.

Oregon and Minnesota also join the challenge from Washington. Hawaii has a separate case pending against the new ban.

Frosh said the ban would make Maryland less competitive by discouraging visits by academics, scientists and engineers from other countries and would harm Maryland’s universities and economy.

The US Department of Justice has declined to comment on the states’ cases because the litigation is pending.

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