Immigration: Court says Trump can’t do what Carter and Reagan did

A difference without a distinction?

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reinstate President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from six majority Muslim nations.

“In suspending the entry of more than 180 million nationals from six countries, suspending the entry of all refugees, and reducing the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, the President did not meet the essential precondition to exercising his delegated authority: The President must make a sufficient finding that the entry of these classes of people would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’” the three-judge panel wrote.

The also stated that the order “runs afoul of other provisions of the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act) that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees.”

But about halfway through the 86-page ruling the judges seemed to condense the nationality discrimination engaged in by Presidents Carter and Reagan (cites deleted):

“In two instances, former Presidents have distinguished classes of aliens on the basis of nationality. But these distinctions were made not because of a particular concern that entry of the individuals themselves would be detrimental, but rather, as retaliatory diplomatic measures responsive to government conduct directed at the United States. For example, President Carter’s proclamation barring the future entry of Iranians occurred during the exigent circumstance of the Iranian hostage crisis. This was one of many sanctions imposed to increase political pressure on the Iranian government to ensure the safe return of American hostages. … President Reagan’s suspension of entry of certain Cuban nationals as immigrants came as a response to the Cuban government’s own suspension of “all types of procedures regarding the execution” of an immigration agreement between the United States and Cuba, which had “disrupt[ed] normal migration procedures between the two countries.”

Then in head scratching turn the judges declared: “Indeed, the President recently confirmed his assessment that it is the ‘countries’ that are inherently dangerous, rather than the 180 million individual nationals of those countries who are barred from entry under the President’s ‘travel ban,’” noting a tweet in which Trump stated: “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!”

In fact, the order states that Trump’s executive order explains:

Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States.

So, Carter and Reagan can bar immigration from Iran and Cuba, based on what the government did nor did not do, but Trump can’t do the same with the six rouge countries identified in his order, which explains specifically that those countries can’t or won’t help vet travelers?

Sounds like a distinction without a difference. In fact, Trump offered specific rationale for his actions, which amounted to “retaliatory diplomatic measures responsive to government conduct directed at the United States.”

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Protesters opposed Trump travel ban. (LATimes pix)

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5 comments on “Immigration: Court says Trump can’t do what Carter and Reagan did

  1. Steve says:

    Some people are trying to claim Republicans made Carter give up his peanut farm.
    This is also not factual.
    Carter turned over control to Billy voluntarily and the investigation came well after Carter no longer had control of the farm.
    Trumps situation is very different because he hasn’t turned over control of his business’s to the extent that Carter and other Presidents did.
    Those two cases will finally test the Emoluments Clause as it pertains to a President if Trump doesn’t cave first and it may already be too late for that now the cases have been filed.

  2. Rincon says:

    Whether the courts should have allowed Carter and Reagan’s actions is debatable, but if they allowed Trump to ban immigration from these countries based on only his tenuous assertion of “security concerns”, then the court would be correct in questioning Trump’s motives since Saudi Arabia was not included and the citizens from 5 of the countries banned have never been the source of a terrorist attack. 94 people in this country have been killed by jihadists in the last 15 years, but none of the killers came from any of the nations banned. There were three nondeadly terrorist attacks by people from Somalia and Iran. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jan/29/jerrold-nadler/have-there-been-terrorist-attacks-post-911-countri/

    19 of the 20 terrorists engaged in 2001 were Saudis and Saudi Arabia is the greatest provider by far, of fundamentalist Islam propaganda, yet Trump chose not to ban Saudi citizens; therefore, his selection of nations is inconsistent with his stated purpose. His xenophobic campaign statements also damage the credibility of his actions.

    If the court is incorrect to question his action in this case, then should Presidents be allowed to ban immigration for certain countries and groups for specious reasons? If this is allowed, then how much of a stretch is it for a President to affect immigration policy in other ways?

  3. The courts DON’T have a leg to stand on…but that never stopped progressive leftist judges, they just make it up as they go. The law is clear, it is within the purview of the President to do this! And never mind Carter and Reagan…let’s go back to President Eisenhower and “Operation Wetback,” what President Trump is asking for…pales in comparison to that!

  4. Rincon says:

    I believe Operation Wetback involved aliens that were illegal. I don’t think the President decided who was and was not illegal as Trump proposed to do.

  5. That doesn’t change the main point…the President is well within his statutory power to limit refugees from countries who are have numerous terrorist groups operating and where officials are unable to properly vet them. If there are no records…it’s difficult to properly distinguish the sheep from the wolves, no matter what the Democrat fairy tale of the day is…such as a three year period and extensive vetting.

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