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Hawaii to challenge Trump's revised travel ban in court

US President Donald Trump stands with 10-year-old Jack Cornish of Birmingham, Alabama, as he surprises visitors during the official reopening of public tours at the White House in Washington, DC, March 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US state of Hawaii has announced plans to file a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s new entry ban against some Muslim nations.

Trump signed a new executive order Monday, excluding Iraq from an originally 7-state travel ban that also prevented nationals from Iran, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from obtaining a US visa.

Hawaii’s state lawmakers said in their court filings on Tuesday that they would seek a temporary restraining order to block the implementation of the new measure, arguing that it violates the law.

Neal Katyal, one of the lead attorneys for Hawaii, told CNN that “the new executive order covers fewer people than the old one” but still "suffers from the same constitutional and statutory defects."

Many groups have denounced Trump’s revised ban but this marks the first legal action against the move.

The original version, introduced in late January, was brought to a halt after a federal judge in the state of Washington deemed it illegal. Hawaii had also filed a motion against the initial ban.

The judge questioned the Trump administration's use of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the US as a justification for the travel ban and said such measures must be “based in fact, as opposed to fiction.”

Protesters chant during a rally against the travel ban at San Diego International Airport on March 6, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by AFP)

In an attempt to revert the ruling and re-instate the ban, the Trump administration took the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but failed to convince the judges.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who succeeded in freezing the first ban, said Monday that he had to study the new one before taking any action.

“We’re reviewing it carefully, and still have concerns with the new order,” Ferguson said.

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The visa ban, which goes into effect on March 16, will last for a period of 90 days. Unlike the original measure, the new one lifts an indefinite suspension of refugee admissions from Syria, upholding a 120-day halt of all admissions instead.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly claimed on Monday that the ban targeted terrorists and not Muslims. He also said there were “13 or 14” other Muslim states that needed to step up their vetting process.

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