California Joins Legal Fight Over Second Trump Travel Ban

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

California is challenging President Trump's second attempt to severely restrict travel into the U.S., on Monday joining an amended lawsuit — along with the states of Washington, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon — that seeks to have parts of the March 6 executive order invalidated.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the narrower travel ban issued last week was a "victory" for lawful permanent residents and current visa holders, who were targeted by Trump's first order but excluded from the second. But in a statement on Monday announcing that California was joining the next legal fight over the issue, Becerra said the second ban — which still temporarily halts the nation's refugee program and blocks travel from six Muslim-majority countries — was unconstitutional.

“Last month, our courts put a lid on the unconstitutional and un-American Trump Muslim travel ban because Americans stood up and demanded it. ... But the fight for fair and lawful treatment of all who would seek permission to enter our country is not over," Becerra said.

The second ban is scheduled to take effect Thursday, and the attorneys general are asking the courts to halt the order before then. The first ban went into effect for about a week before a judge stopped it.

"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.

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In their legal challenge, the attorneys general claim the new executive order will hurt residents, colleges and universities, health care providers and businesses. They also contend that it will cause the states to lose tax revenue and "undermine our sovereign interest in maintaining the separation between church and state, in upholding our non-discrimination policies and in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees."