The ACLU and other advocacy groups announced Friday that they are planning to challenge the latest iteration of President Trump’s travel ban in front of the same federal judge who blocked a previous version of the measure.
The organizations on Friday sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang, asserting that Trump's latest ban, like the old ones, violates federal law. They asked Chuang, a federal judge in Maryland, to schedule a conference so they can discuss filing an amended complaint as well as a bid to stop implementation of the directive.
“President Trump’s newest travel ban is still a Muslim ban at its core, and it certainly engages in discrimination based on national origin, which is unlawful,” American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement, adding that the organization would “see President Trump in court — again.”
Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement that the department would “continue to vigorously defend the President’s inherent authority to keep this country safe.”
Trump’s latest ban, which fully goes into effect Oct. 18, affects citizens of eight countries, but unlike the previous version, some face more complete blocks than others. It was inked after a lengthy process in which U.S. officials reviewed vetting procedures and sought information from countries around the world. Those that were either unwilling or unable to produce the data the United States wanted ended up on the banned list.
For Syria and North Korea, the president's proclamation blocks immigrants wanting to relocate to the United States and non-
immigrants wishing to visit in some capacity. For Iran, the proclamation blocks both immigrants and non-immigrants, although it exempts students and those participating in a cultural exchange.
The proclamation blocks people from Chad, Libya and Yemen from coming to the United States as immigrants or on business or tourist visas, and it blocks people from Somalia from coming as immigrants. It names Venezuela, but it only blocks certain government officials. Sudan, which was affected by the previous ban, has been removed from the list.
The Supreme Court had been scheduled to consider the previous iteration of Trump's travel ban, which was signed in March, on Oct. 10. But after the new restrictions were issued, the court removed that hearing from its calendar and asked for briefs on whether the case was moot.
Legal analysts have said those challenging the latest ban are likely to face an uphill battle. Chuang, however, was among the judges to block the previous measure.