The state of Hawaii on Friday sued to stop President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries, joining a series of court challenges around the country.
Trump's executive order keeps Hawaii families apart and keeps residents from traveling, state Attorney General Doug Chin said. It degrades values Hawaii has worked hard to protect, he said.
"This harms Hawaii's identity. It harms Hawaii's most basic values," Chin said.
Trump's order temporarily bans travel for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. It also temporarily halts the U.S. refugee program.
The University of Hawaii has 27 graduate students and 40 faculty members from the seven nations affected by the ban, Chin said.
The order conjures the memory of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1882 law that prohibited immigration by Chinese workers, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Chin said.
"When you're talking about orders that are discriminating against people of national origin, you have to stake a stand. We can't just allow this to go on and hope that it doesn't get worse," he told reporters at a news conference. "That's my concern. Every time the ball moves a little bit closer to detaining people or to rounding people up, or to putting people into different places all in the all in the name of national security -- that's repeating a time in history that none of us want to repeat."
The order will also make foreign travelers feel unwelcome, which is a problem for Hawaii's tourism-powered economy, Chin said.
Hawaii filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu on Friday.
Several states have filed lawsuits challenging the ban, as have the American Civil Liberties Union and several California university students.