Trump’s Immigration Ban: Constitutional Or Not?

President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order for a temporary ban on immigration from seven countries over the past 2 weeks. These seven countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, roughly 218 million people from across the globe, due to these countries being identified by the Obama administration as high risk nations for exporting terror.

The move has been met with global protests in the United Kingdom, Australia, and all over the United States, focused in international airports across the nation, as well as condemnations from both sides of the aisle. After stating a pause in refugees “may be necessary in 2015” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) flip flopped, preaching through tears about “American Values” and the Constitution that strangely, Democrats seem to care about all of a sudden.

Republican Senators John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) had their usual criticisms as well, stating it will be “used as a recruiting tool for ISIS.”

On Saturday, a Seattle federal judge granted a temporary restraining order on the immigration ban, claiming irreparable harm to the state of Washington, it’s universities, and businesses, citing companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, and that these countries posed no immediate risk to national security. This TRO was immediately addressed and criticized by the Trump Administration, and is now awaiting a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether to be removed, continuing Trump’s executive order.

The problem with Judge Robart’s TRO on the executive order is this. He cites no breach of constitutional law, no case law, or anything of that nature. Simply, that there has been no attack from the countries listed, and the concern from the Trump Administration must be “based in fact, not fiction.” In other words, according to Judge Robart, to temporarily ban immigration from countries in the pursuit of  protection from terrorism, terrorism must occur first. This is extremely dangerous and borderline insane. 

Despite your politics, it’s obvious to see that Judge Robart’s reasoning for his temporary restraining order is outlandish and a massive overreach of judicial power. Not to mention, the most important question of all. Is Trump’s order even constitutional? The short answer is yes.

According to the Plenary Power Doctrine, Congress has the ability to reject or accept any form of immigration as it sees fit. It clearly states that non US Citizens have no constitutional right to travel to the United States under any law, nor do they have the right to challenge such right. Not only that, but from 8 USC §1182, the president has the statutory authority to keep any person’s out of the country for any reason, especially national security:

“ 8 USC §1182: 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 non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

There is no question of whether President Trump can do this. The Obama Administration banned Iraqi Refugees in 2011 for 6 months, President Carter banned Iranian’s in 1980 following the Iranian Hostage Crisis. This has been done before, with targeting more specific, and for lengths much longer than the Trump Administration is calling for. Where was the outrage then?


Image Credit: Getty

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