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Trump's travel ban 3.0 hit with first suit by Muslim group

[NEW YORK] A Muslim student group in Maryland filed the first lawsuit over the latest version of the Trump administration's travel ban against several Muslim-majority countries, plus North Korea and Venezuela.

The lawsuit filed late Monday by Iranian Alliances Across Borders will again focus on President Donald Trump's comments about Muslims before the election as the true reason for the ban rather than the increasingly detailed national security reasons provided by the White House.

The Muslim group asked for nationwide injunction to block the ban while the case plays out.

"The recently generated national security rationale cannot wipe away the anti-Muslim bias that has animated President Trump's dogged efforts to fulfill his promise to ban Muslims from entering this country," the group, from the University of Maryland, College Park, said in the complaint.

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The addition of North Korean nationals and a small group of Venezuelan government officials to the ban is a calculated attempt to "paper over" the legal defects of the first two versions of the ban, according to the complaint.

The revised restrictions, issued by Trump on Sept 24, limit travel to varying degrees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, all of which were on the original list.

The US will also restrict or ban travel from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Sudan is no longer on the list. The revised ban takes effect Oct 18.

The directive violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, as well as the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment, the student group said in the complaint in federal court in Maryland.

A second suit over the ban was filed late Monday in federal court in New York against the Department of State by the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

That suit claims the administration violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to properly respond a demand for information about how the government crafted the latest ban.

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