Local News Reporter
(Donald Trump announces his executive order on immigration on January 27th. Photo: Carlos Barria/ Reuters.)
On his 7th day in Office, Donald Trump gave the American people one of the most controversial executive orders they had ever seen. Although Trump was known for his unusually blunt remarks during the campaign season, many did not believe he would act exactly on those issues as he had stated in the heat of the moment.
On January 27th, 2017, an executive order from the White House was released suspending individuals from entering the United States from the following Muslim- majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. (All pictures are courtesy of NPR http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512439121/trumps-executive-order-on-immigration-annotated
In the first section of his executive order, Trump mentions this needs to be enacted to protect Americans from foreign terrorists. By limiting the list of countries for entry to the US, Trump believes this will protect us from terrorists that have attacked in the past. However oddly enough, the countries which the 9/11 terrorists originated from (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt) are not apart of his list.
The next part of the executive order is where the “ban” is actually stated. It suspends the entry of US by immigrants and nonimmigrants of people from the 7 countries listed above. The dictionary definition of a ban is It states, “the act of forbidding something, in this case persons from those countries entering the US, especially when linked to the law. ” Though this seems to be exactly what the order is doing. Trump's Administration's press secretary Sean Spicer has denied the term and refuses to categorize the order in such a way.
This is the only part of the executive order that makes an exception. “Prioritizing refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution” means any refugee which is of a religion that is not the majority, which is Islam in all 7 countries, can have some kind of entry into the US. Although it is not said here, it can be inferred that religions such as Christianity and Judaism are favored over Islam due to this circumstance.
On February 9th, 2017 the 9th circuit court of appeals from Washington state ruled against Trump. With a 3-judge panel, the court ruled entirely against the executive order. Below are excerpts from the ruling explaining why his executive order unconstitutional. (Courtesy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)
The U.S. Constitution protects the undocumented, green card holders, and citizens of the United States. As ruled in 1896, the Supreme Court stated that the 14th Amendment is not limited to protecting citizens. The 14th Amendment is also known as equal protection clause. Because illegal immigrants are protected under the Constitution, they are also entitled to due process which is fair treatment through the judicial system. The court has stated that this executive order does not follow the equal protection clause.
This enforces the fact that persons who are living here illegally have Constitutional rights. The first Amendment states, “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” The freedom of religion is a core value of the founders and is one of the biggest reasons why the colonies wanted to break away from England.
Having a list of countries to specifically limit entry to isn’t the only issue with Trump’s case. He runs into another precedent that was set from a previous case. The court is referring to Texas v. United States where Texas argued that Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents Program (DAPA), which was apart of President Obama’s executive order to grant more illegal immigrants legal status, violated the Take Care clause of the constitution which states where the President must “Take Care” that all laws a faithfully executed. This is cited in Trump’s ruling because of the temporary restraining order (TRO) set on Washington and Minnesota, who both sued to block Trump’s immigration order. In Texas v. United States the court ruled saying there isn’t a need for nationwide injunction against Obama’s executive order which is a judicial order which prevents the states from beginning or continuing an act of threatening, however in Trump’s case the opposite is true. The need for the TRO to be lifted is great because the executive order directly affects the employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel or residents from those respective states.
Although Trump wishes to comply with promises he made throughout his campaign, like any politician wants to do, he must make sure of the legal consequences that may spring up during the rest of this presidency.