Court guts presidential authority to prevent the entry of terrorists.
Within days of taking office President Trump issued an Executive Order that would, among other actions temporarily, suspend the entry into the United States, of citizens of seven countries that are associated with terrorism and/or are unwilling or unable to verify the identities and backgrounds of their citizens.
Those countries were: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In this dangerous era it is difficult to prevent the entry of foreign terrorists from many countries. However, when it is impossible ascertain the true identities or previous affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations for aliens seeking entry, our government is forced to “fly blind” in a storm.
Trump’s Executive Order was issued to provide the U.S. government with an opportunity to attempt to develop a means of properly vetting aliens from these countries and was entirely consistent with long-standing immigration laws, specifically with Section (f) of 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens).
This statute has been used by previous presidents to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Terrorists certainly fall into that category.
Here is the relevant paragraph:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
Subsequently, the Trump administration eliminated Iraq from the list of countries and “tweaked” his executive order that has been largely described in the media as a “Travel Ban” for the citizens of “Six Muslim Majority Countries.” The media, out of an apparent desire to obfuscate the purpose of this Executive Order, has assiduously ignored the actual title of the Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States which concisely articulates the purpose of that Executive Order, a purpose that is now blithely being ignored by the media and some federal judges.
Nevertheless, on June 26, 2017 the Supreme Court decision inexplicably exempted aliens from the Executive Order who had “bona fide relationships” with close family members or entities in the United States. Here are two relevant paragraphs from the Supreme Court decision:
For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO-2. The students from the designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address an American audience.
An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.
Begrudgingly the Supreme Court noted “the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security” when aliens have no connection to the U.S.
Does that mean terrorists who have relationships in the U.S. are welcome to enter?
“…the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security” is not a suggestion or an option but an absolute mandate.
The legal attack Presidential authority to safeguard national security did not end there.
Hawaii Federal Judge Derrick Watson decided that the notion of “familial relationships” should be expanded, as was reported on July 14th by NBC News: Federal Judge Loosens ‘Travel Ban’ Restrictions to Exempt Grandparents, Others. Here is the relevant excerpt from that report:
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson wrote in a ruling that the government’s interpretation of those qualifying for an exemption to the travel restrictions is too narrow.
“The Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense,” Watson said in his ruling. “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents.”
Watson ruled the government cannot use a main provision of the travel ban to exclude “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States.”
Unbelievably, the Supreme Court, in a five to three decision, agreed with Judge Derrick Watson to expand the familial relationships with persons already in the United States.
Here are the true issues ignored by the media and some judges:
- First and foremost, by focusing on the issue of “bona fide relationships” with persons and entities, an irrelevant issue, the true issue, national security, the sole purpose behind the Executive Order, is purposefully and blatantly ignored.
- Most terrorists have relatives. Brothers have convinced their siblings to engage in terror attacks. Consider the infamous Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the deadly terror attack at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
- Sometimes entire families have close relationships with terrorist organizations.
On April 28, 2016 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) issued a press release about the San Bernardino terror attack, “3 people tied to shooter in San Bernardino terrorist attack arrested on federal conspiracy, marriage fraud and false statement charges.”
The terminology “Persons already in the United States” would apparently not limit this exemption to claimed family members of America citizens but to aliens who managed to enter the Untied States previously.
Without a reliable means of vetting these aliens to determine their true identities, there would be no reliable way to know if they truly have relatives in the United States.
Even DNA testing would be worthless when dealing with in-laws and purported members of the extended family members.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court ruling that provided exclusions for aliens with “bona fide relationships” with entities that include schools and employers ignores that a significant number of terrorists have attended school in the United States and/or had jobs that enabled them to effectively embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.
The day before a terrorist participates in an attack he/she is likely to hide in plain sight by going to his job or by attending classes.
This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits” of the official report 9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States:
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.
On March 19, 2002, I testified at a Congressional hearing on the topic, “INS’S March 2002 Notification Of Approval Of Change Of Status For Pilot Training For Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta And Marwan Al-Shehhi.” Back then members of Congress, from both parties, demanded our immigration laws be enforced to prevent future attacks.
That was then, this is now:
The July 13, 2017 Breitbart article, Indian Student Pleads Guilty to Federal Judge Murder Plot, included these paragraphs:
Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, came to the U.S. originally on a student visa. Mohammad was attending Ohio State University when he and three other Muslim men, all of which are foreign nationals, were charged with attempting to send money to a leader of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, Breitbart News previously reported.
While in prison and awaiting trial, Mohammad told another inmate of his plans to murder U.S. Federal Judge James Knepp, the man overseeing his court case, according to the Associated Press.
“Family reunification” has been one of the emotional arguments exploited by the open-borders immigration anarchists and now it is being exploited by federal judges and even the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is time to contemplate the suffering of American families who will never be re-united with their loved ones – the families ripped apart by the deaths of their loved ones at the hands of international terrorists and transnational criminals whose presence in the United States ultimately cost their family members their lives.
These families will never be “reunited.”
The famed playwright, George Bernard Shaw’s lamented, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
Our government must, for once and for all, learn the lessons of the past to prevent tragedies, atrocities and carnage in the future.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.