Trump’s Immigration EOs and the Constitution: Thumbs up or thumbs down?
President Trump has stated that he plans to modify and re-issue his executive order concerning his executive order to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States who are citizens of countries that have a nexus to terrorism and where the citizens of those countries cannot be properly vetted to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.
It will be interesting to see what the new executive order will contain. I am certain that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be able to devise a “new and improved” executive order. However, I am still struggling to understand how the first order ran into any problems.
Those opposed to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration have freely and frequently invoked the claim that those executive orders are “unconstitutional.”
Although many politicians, pundits and journalists have made that claim on a string of news programs on the major networks, they have rarely, if ever, been challenged to explain how the President’s executive orders violate the Constitution.
Usually when making their fatuous claims about the “unconstitutionality” of the immigration executive orders, they cite the First Amendment of the Constitution and the issue of religious freedom.
What has been generally glossed over was the fact that the executive order did not mention any religion, let alone Islam. However, inasmuch the seven countries identified in the executive order as being “Muslim majority countries” the illusion was created that President Trump was attempting to bar the entry of Muslims into the United States.
What was also ignored by the media is that the list had been compiled by the Obama administration.
What has additionally been ignored is that in 1980 President Carter suspended the entry of citizens of Iran into the United States when our embassy at Tehran was seized.
If Trump’s goal was to bar the entry of Muslims into the United States he was incredibly inept. In fact, if that was his goal, he should have added the world’s most populist Muslim majority nation, Indonesia, to that list of countries inasmuch as its population is nearly as great as the combined population of all of the seven countries on that list.
The seven countries are countries that have a nexus to international terrorism. As was the case in 1980, the entry of citizens of Iran into the United States was to be suspended.
Yet these issues are seldom noted in the mainstream media.
In this era of “Asymmetrical Warfare” the Commander-In-Chief must not only protect America and Americans from foreign governments and their military but from international terrorist organizations.
Consider that on September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists, barely out of their teens inflicted more casualties on the United States than did the entire Japanese fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Now let’s consider that Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.
Invasion has been defined as:
an instance of invading a country or region with an armed force: the Allied invasion of Normandy | in 1546 England had to be defended from invasion.
- an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity: stadium guards are preparing for another invasion of fans.
- an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain
As for the expression, “domestic violence,” deadly terror attacks certainly inflict devastating domestic violence.
I would suggest that a failure of the President of the United States to act to prevent the entry and embedding of foreign terrorists into the United States would constitute nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance. Indeed, I would argue it would constitute gross negligence of duty.
Furthermore the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) includes this statute: 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens which includes section (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President. That section includes the following 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.
It is clear that the President of the United States may act unilaterally if he finds that the entry of any alien or class of aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. The phrase “detrimental to the interests of the United States” creates an extremely low bar. Threats to national security certainly exceed the minimal standard of being “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Time and again innocent people in the United States have been killed and grievously injured by foreign terrorists who managed to game the visa process and the process by which aliens are granted various immigration benefits including being granted political asylum, lawful immigrant status and even, in a few instances, United States citizenship.
Our European allies have similarly suffered deadly terror attacks when their immigration systems failed. I provided specific examples and parallels of this in my recent article, “Berlin Terror Attack and Immigration Law Violations: What America should learn from this newest horrific lesson.”
Clearly President Trump has learned the lessons of these terror attacks and on January 27, 2017 he issued another executive order that has drawn scant attention by the media.
The title of this executive order, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” clearly articulates his motivation for promulgating this executive order. However, it is important to consider the purpose of this order as it is presented in the first paragraphs:
Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.
Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
I strongly suggest you read this executive order in its entirety, it is very unlikely that the media will make note of this executive order, let alone provide it in their coverage of the efforts being made by the Trump administration to fulfill not only campaign promises, but more importantly, the requirements of the Constitution of the United States.
Just before our nation observed the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 I wrote an article, “Reflection on 9/11’s Vulnerabilities: The failures that proved key factors in the attacks — and how Obama has exacerbated them.”
Back then, the outcome of the impending election was not certain. I feared that if Trump failed to win the election that our nation would face vulnerabilities under Hillary Clinton that are the stuff of my worst nightmares.
Thankfully, however, Trump did win.
He is acting swiftly and decisively to effectively address these vulnerabilities. His executive orders, in my judgement, are consistent with the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony. His executive orders and are entirely reasonable and, indeed, essential for the safety and security of America and Americans and provide clear and unequivocal proof of his determination to adhere to the dictates of the Constitution of the United States and hence, his oath of office.
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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on FrontPage Magazine.
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