Hawaii to challenge revised travel ban as community leaders urge tolerance

Community leaders on Oahu are fighting back against President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.

Opponents say the new ban once again discriminates against Muslims instead of protecting national security.

The latest executive order denies people entry into the U.S. if they’re from six majority Muslim counties and seeking new visas.

Iraq was included in the first order but has been removed. The new order also shuts down the nation’s refugee program.

Leaders on Oahu are uniting for religious tolerance.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Honolulu is one of the most diverse cities in the nation and criticizes any hate crimes and discrimination in all forms.

“I want to make clear that those who do those things will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he said.

Caldwell encourages people to report hate crimes in their community.

State Attorney General Doug Chin said, “What I heard from the mayor is that what he is saying to law enforcement was take it seriously when people try to raise a report. Let’s not put any of these under the carpet, because there are people who are feeling very nervous right now.”

While many in the Muslim community say that Hawaii is one of the safest places to live in, they have received threats.

“The situation for the Muslim community is much worse than after 9/11. We have seen what the Trump administration and Trump himself done, emboldened certain folks to think that it’s okay to say hatred words toward others,” said Hakim Ouansafi, chair of the Muslim Association of Hawaii.

President Trump’s newest travel ban may address legal issues that led to the first ban being blocked by the courts, but Ouansafi said it’s not that different.

“It’s preventing the grandmothers from coming to see their grandchildren. It’s preventing grandmothers from attending weddings for granddaughters, or come and visit a sick family,” said Ouansafi.

Hawaii previously filed a lawsuit against the federal government, but it was put on hold when the courts blocked the first travel ban.

Chin says the state will file again soon.

“What we’ll probably end up doing is we’ll be using the current lawsuit to again challenge the travel ban that’s been put in place by the new executive order,” he said.

His office expanded on that plan later Tuesday.

“The State, together with the Department of Justice, asked Judge Derrick K. Watson for an expedited briefing schedule on a motion for temporary restraining order. If Judge Watson agrees, this schedule will allow the court to hear the State’s motion before the new travel ban goes into effect on March 16, 2017,” his office said in a statement.

View the motion here.

Chin’s office said the state expects to file a second amended complaint and a motion for temporary restraining order in the near future.

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