With all this talk about the executive order our president wishes to put into effect, which has now been revised and will be blocking immigration from six Muslim majority countries, I figured it was time to stop ranting and take a brief look at the other side of this argument.
This week the attorney general from the state of Texas led a coalition of fifteen states in defense of President Donald Trump’s executive order. This coalition includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kansas in addition to Texas. The attorney generals of these states filed an amicus curiae brief to the ninth circuit court of appeals, which upheld that the prospective travel ban be blocked back in February.
With the order having been revised so that it will not effect anyone from the six countries who had already been issued a visa, this coalition is now looking to defend Trump’s authority. If they find the constitutional evidence to defend the order then there really will not be much anyone could do, and it seems there has already been quite a bit done to pull the E-brake on the travel ban. The constitutional argument is interesting here. As per the Alien Sedition acts of 1798, the president yields the authority to suspend visas of those from countries we are at war with. The president of the United States is also not allowed to favor one religion over another. The ban was “religiously motivated.” So these are two colliding factors, at least they would be if we were at war with one of the countries listed. However, the order does fall within the statute Trump himself cited within the order which, in laymen’s terms, claims that he has a right to suspend visas to anyone posing as detrimental the interests of the United States (in this case, safety and security). But the problem I see with that is that generally, those being effected by the ninety day ban on travel into the US, do not pose as a threat to our nation’s security. Anyone could have the potential to be dangerous, and the president is making the judgement of whether or not one is dangerous or could be dangerous based on religion.
In my next post I plan to discuss the reactions of civil liberties groups such as the ACLU to the events of the past three and half months.