Minnesota is joining Washington state as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, filed Monday, that claims Trump’s immigration travel ban is illegal.
In a hearing Friday, the two states will ask the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to immediately suspend implementation of President Trump’s executive order, which bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
Trump has argued the travel ban, which also bars refugees for 120 days, will help his administration study ways prevent terrorists from entering the U.S.
Washington was the first state to file a lawsuit over the controversial immigration policy. Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia have since joined third-party lawsuits challenging the order.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee’s team is surveying state agencies to find out what kind of data they collect and whether that data could be seized by the Trump administration. The inquiry, first noted by The Verge, began before Trump’s travel ban but it was launched as a response to the president’s past rhetoric.
“We started the process before [the executive order], primarily because of some general concerns that we had heard — Trump saying he was going to do some of these things and stakeholders being fearful,” Gov. Inslee’s General Counsel Nick Brown told GeekWire in an interview. “At that time it was hypothetical and now it’s real. So we’ve been thinking about it for a while.”
Inslee’s staff is looking into agencies, like Washington state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Social and Health Services, to find out if they are collecting information on religion and immigration status and whether they’re gathering more data than they are required to by law.
The state has not decided what it will do with the findings of the survey or whether it will try to block data requests from the federal government germane to immigration issues, according to Brown.