California joins lawsuit against Trump travel ban

That didn’t take long.

A week after President Trump announced a new version of his order restricting travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, California has joined a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Trump’s first travel ban was struck down by the courts. The new version is more limited in scope, reducing from seven to six the number of countries affected, and dropping language that called for giving preference to refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries. But it remains problematic, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said today in announcing the state has joined the lawsuit.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

“The Trump Administration may have changed the text of the now-discredited Muslim travel ban, but they didn’t change its unconstitutional intent and effect. It is still an attack on people—women and children, professors and business colleagues, seniors and civic leaders—based on their religion and national origin,” Becerra said in a statement.

California joins Washington, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts and Minnesota in challenging Trump’s new travel order. The state’s legal brief argues that the order will interrupt the education of many foreign students at California universities, the Los Angeles Times reports, and cause financial harm because of a loss of tax revenue generated by tourism from Middle Eastern countries.

Also today, California joined 13 other state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting another suit contesting the revised ban, this one filed by the state of Hawaii. In a statement, Becerra said his reasons were the same in both cases: “to challenge the Trump administration’s constitutional overreach.”

The Trump administration contends its action is necessary to counter what Trump himself has portrayed as a below-the-radar influx of terrorists and criminals across U.S. borders. “Unregulated, unvetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in announcing the revised ban.

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