Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson announced Thursday that he will be challenging President Donald Trump’s third travel ban, which indefinitely halts immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and is scheduled to take effect Wednesday.
“This one is also unlawful, and it is hurting families, businesses and universities in our state,” Ferguson said in a released statement Thursday. “I will continue to hold the president accountable to the rule of law.”
Late Wednesday, Ferguson filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, asking the court to lift his stay against Trump’s travel ban to challenge the third and latest version of the ban. Fellow state plaintiffs on the case include California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon. Ferguson’s office argues that the third travel ban is essentially calling for new immigration law that would be beyond the president's jurisdiction, since only Congress has the authority to pass legislation on immigration.
This adds another lawsuit to the string Ferguson has filed since Trump took office. He successfully challenged Trump’s first travel ban and has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the Trump administration since the president took office in January. Ferguson sought and won an injunction against the first travel ban back in January.
The Trump administration followed up with a revised ban after the first was blocked in courts, which was legally challenged by other states. The ban blocks immigration to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Chad.
Aneelah Afzali, Muslim activist and executive director of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), told PubliCola that while she's disappointed in the Trump administration for furthering a ban she feels is based in "Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism," she's encouraged by Ferguson's quick action against the third incarnation of the ban.
Afzali said the public should continue to show their support for Muslims; advocacy groups scheduled rallies next week on Wednesday, the day Trump's travel ban was scheduled to take effect.
"While I'm in favor of Washington state challenging the Muslim ban, I'm also in favor of addressing more than just the symptoms," she said.