Minnesota joins states suing federal government over new travel ban order

Minnesota is one of six states opposing the order through the courts.

Minnesota has joined the states suing the federal government over the latest immigration executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

Minnesota attorney general Lori Swanson has joined her counterparts from Washington, Oregon, New York and Massachusetts in opposing the order, which temporarily suspends refugees and entry to the U.S. of people from six Muslim-majority nations, with Hawaii filing a separate lawsuit.

The Trump administration scrapped the initial immigration order issued on Jan. 27 after a restraining order was granted by a court after a lawsuit issued by the attorney generals of Minnesota and Washington.

In the new filing, the states are arguing that President Trump is trying to evade the original court order by re-issuing the ban "with the same illegal motivations as the original," according to ABC News.

There are some differences between the two orders. Iraq has been removed from the list of countries where travel to the U.S. is banned until security measures are reviewed, while there is no longer an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

It also makes it clear that green card holders and those with already issued travel visas are not affected.

But one of the main contentions of the original lawsuit was that it targeted Muslims, with courts accepting evidence of language President Trump used during his election, in which he called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," as Vox reported.

His one-time adviser, Rudy Giuliani, has also previously said the president referred to it as a "Muslim ban."

USA Today reports Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the president cannot "unilaterally declare himself free of the court's restraining order and injunction" by issuing a new, but similar executive order.

"We’re asserting that the president cannot unilaterally declare himself free of the court’s restraining order and injunction," Ferguson added. “It’s our view that that temporary restraining order that we've already obtained remains in effect.”

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