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Four US states sue Trump administration over travel ban

Washington was the first state to launch its case, with New York, Massachusetts and Virginia following on Tuesday.

Donald Trump Presidency Updated: Feb 02, 2017 09:30 IST
HT Correspondent
Students of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, gather for prayers during a rally on Tuesday to express discontent with President Donald Trump's executive order.
Students of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, gather for prayers during a rally on Tuesday to express discontent with President Donald Trump's executive order.(AP)

Four Democrat-ruled states have sued the Trump administration over the US President’s controversial executive order, banning all refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the country.

Trump’s order suspends the entry of refugees from all over the world for 120 days — indefinitely for those from Syria — and to all citizens of Muslim-majority nations Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya for 90 days.

The attorneys general of New York, Massachusetts and Virginia announced their lawsuits separately on Tuesday. Washington state was the first to start, launching its case in an announcement on Monday. The city of San Francisco has also sued the administration for a directive withholding federal money for cities that grant sanctuary to undocumented immigrants from deportation and other penal actions.

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey said the order was “a violation of the Constitution” and it “discriminates against people because of their religion, it discriminates against people because of their country of origin”.

The order is also being opposed in a dissent note going around the US state department. It had gathered more than 1,000 signatures from personnel serving in the US and in diplomatic missions all around the world.

And the President, who has been trying to defend the order in every way he can, tried one more time on Wednesday, arguing on Twitter, “Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!”

The president has said the aim was to combat terrorism and keep out the “bad dudes”, but critics argue the order, apart from being “un-American” and discriminatory, could have the opposite effect, and fuel radicalisation and hostility against the US.