U.S. civil liberties group to challenge Trump’s new travel ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union said on Friday that it is challenging President Donald Trump’s new restrictions on people entering the United States from eight countries.

The civil rights group said in a statement that it will seek to amend an existing lawsuit in Maryland federal court that was filed against Trump’s previous March 6 ban.

In a letter filed with U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang, the ACLU said that a new ban issued on Sunday violates the U.S. Constitution as well as federal immigration law.

Trump’s new ban has placed indefinite restrictions on travel to the U.S. for citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. Certain government officials from Venezuela will also be barred.

The ACLU plans to seek an injunction that would block visa and entry restrictions on those affected.

Challengers of Trump’s immigration restrictions have said they are aimed at following through on a pledge he made on the campaign trail in 2016 to block Muslims from entering the country.

“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,” said the ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero.

“We’ll see President Trump in court – again,” he added.

The new ban, Trump’s third, could affect tens of thousands of potential immigrants and visitors. Trump has argued that the restrictions fulfill his campaign pledge to tighten immigration and security.

The previous ban targeted six Muslim-majority countries. It was blocked by lower courts and partially revived by the Supreme Court in June. Trump’s first travel ban, issued soon after he took office in January, was also blocked by courts.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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