Trump’s Revised Travel Order Is Constitutional, Legal, Common Sense
By Hans von Spakovsky
President Donald Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel from terrorist safe havens is just as constitutional and legal as his original order, despite what some courts such as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said about the original order.
But the revisions he has made, which clarify that the executive order does not apply to any foreigners who already hold visas to enter the U.S., will make it tougher for activist judges to justify any injunction orders they might be inclined to issue against it. Yet there is little doubt that progressive groups will seek such orders.
The executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” confirms what the administration had previously announced, which is that the temporary, 90-day suspension of entry into the U.S. from certain designated countries will not apply to:
* Lawful permanent residents as well as diplomatic, NATO, and U.N. personnel.
* Foreign nationals admitted after the effective date of the executive order.
* Individuals with a visa valid on the date of the executive order.
* Dual nationals travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country.
* Individuals already granted asylum or refugee status before the effective date of the executive order.
This is an important revision because it voids the due process concerns that the 9th Circuit expressed—namely, that individuals who had already received approval to enter or reside in the United States might have that right taken away from them without a review and appeal process.
The revised executive order reduces the number of designated countries to which the visa suspension applies by one. Iraq has been removed from the original list, while Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen remain on the list.
Apparently, the administration conducted negotiations with Iraq last month that resulted in Iraq agreeing to increase its cooperation in vetting Iraqis applying for travel into the U.S.
The six remaining countries had been designated by the Obama administration as “countries of concern” (Libya, Somalia, and Yemen) or state sponsors of terrorism (Iran, Syria, and Sudan). The new executive order lists specific reasons for each country’s inclusion in the suspension taken from the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 (released in June 2016).
It is certainly common sense (and easy to understand) why one would suspend entry from countries whose governments are official sponsors of terrorism, given that we could not trust any records those governments produce when their citizens are being vetted.
And the executive order points out that the other three countries were designated as “countries of concern” by Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama’s secretary of homeland security, in 2016 based on three statutory factors set out by Congress:
* Whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States.
* Whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area.
* Whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.
So under the prior administration’s own standards, this 90-day suspension until a more thorough vetting process can be implemented is only from countries that are, in essence, terrorist safe havens that the government has been concerned about for many years.
The revised executive order repeats the 120-day suspension of refugee admissions to allow the Department of Homeland Security to revise its screening procedures to ensure that refuges do not pose a security risk, although the suspension will not apply to any refuges already formally scheduled for transit by the State Department.
The order also makes a point of refuting claims that were raised in various lawsuits that the original order was intended to discriminate against Muslims: It “did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.”
The original order did allow for prioritization of refugee claims, once the 120-day suspension period lapses, from persecuted religious minorities—but that priority “applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.”
That prioritization is not in the revised order, although that is not really needed since federal immigration law (8 U.S.C. §1101 (a)(42)(A)) already defines refugees as including those persecuted because of their religion.
Finally, the revised executive order also takes the time to answer another question that arose in the litigation over the previously issued executive order. The order specifically states that since 2001, “hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States. They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees.”
That includes the two Iraqi nationals convicted in 2013 for multiple terrorism-related offenses who were admitted as refuges in 2009. According to the order, Trump has been informed by the attorney general “that more than 300 persons who entered the Untied States as refuges are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations” by the FBI.
This executive order is clearly within the president’s authority under 8 U.S.C. § 1182 (f), in which Congress clearly delegated to the president the authority to suspend the entry of any aliens into the U.S. when he believes it would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Whether that will deter activist judges who don’t like this policy from enjoining it is still another question.
Wiretapping Trump: Did Obama Lie and Spy?
There's a long way to go to get to the bottom of this one.
The state of politics in the Washington Swamp is in absolute disarray. The deceit, cover-ups, scandals and illegal activity amongst government officials both former and current really seem to be the norm these days. And while the Leftmedia scramble to find new stories to discredit President Donald Trump, the American public is becoming more disgusted by the actions of the people who are supposed to be serving us.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted out several statements accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump and his associates at some point during his presidential campaign. Of course, as we noted yesterday the Leftmedia were quick to jump all over Trump for presenting no evidence to support his wiretapping claim and for accusing a former president of doing something so egregious.
“Unsubstantiated,” “baseless” and “no evidence” are the Leftmedia buzzwords to try and convince the American public that the Obama administration did no wrong. Except he was citing that same Leftmedia. For instance, in January, The New York Times reported about an intelligence investigation into Trump. Was he wiretapped? We don’t know.
Interestingly, the media slap these labels upon Trump with regard to wiretapping, yet the same media across a multitude of networks have no qualms about telling everyone that the Russians hacked the 2016 election, helped Trump get elected and that Trump welcomed their support.
Conveniently, it seems that every time Trump does something positive — such as give an impressive speech or hold to one of his campaign promises — the Leftmedia attempt to halt his momentum by bringing up Russian involvement with the election.
It’s not only the media. Shortly after Trump’s wiretapping tweets, FBI director James Comey on Sunday requested that the Justice Department publicly rebuke Trump’s surveillance claims. It’s strange that the head of the FBI would make such an extraordinary request to discredit the president — unless the wiretapping did occur and there were many people within the Obama administration who knew about it.
Then again, with all Comey did to help Hillary Clinton, maybe it’s not so strange after all.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked during an interview about any wiretapping. Clapper stated, “To my knowledge” there was no wiretapping activity mounted against Trump or his campaign and that if the FBI had sought a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign he would have known about it.
Then again, Clapper also initially falsely claimed the NSA had no program conducting widespread surveillance of all Americans.
Obama denied through a spokesman any wiretapping against Trump. Nothing unusual with that, though — Obama always denied any allegations of unlawful actions during his presidency.
Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee, were also asked if they had any knowledge of wiretapping being conducted on Trump. Both were unaware, and Collins noted that the Intelligence Committee would be looking into the issue as part of the investigation into Russian influence on the election.
Given Obama’s involvement with other numerous scandals and cover-ups during his presidency — the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, to name a few — why should anyone, especially the media, immediately dismiss Trump’s claims against Obama? Even if he didn’t “order the code red,” as with the IRS targeting scandal, Obama’s minions knew the objective and didn’t need direct orders.
University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds also points out that Obama’s administration was involved with wiretapping journalists and spying on Congress. Given that information, along with Obama’s blatant disregard for the Rule of Law, it’s reasonable to surmise that he might not have taken “no” for an answer from the FISA court.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, explains:
First, as Obama officials well know, under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that “orders” surveillance. And by statute, it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court. So, the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff “ordered” surveillance of Trump and his associates. The issues are (a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and (b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so. Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about — an application to wiretap the presidential candidate of the opposition party, and some of his associates, during the heat of the presidential campaign, based on the allegation that the candidate and his associates were acting as Russian agents — it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House.
And as talk radio host Mark Levin, a constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese III in the Ronald Reagan administration, put it, “The issue isn’t whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign or transition of surrogates; the issue is the extent of it.”
Muslim supremacists blame 'White Supremacists'
I know of no-one preaching white supremacism, though I guess there are some somewhere. Certainly none of Trump's people preach it. But Muslim supremacism is easy to find. It's commanded in the Koran, Surah 9:29, for instance
The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday blamed "Islamophobes" and "white supremacists" in the White House for President Trump's new travel executive order - or what CAIR has dubbed "Muslim ban 2.0."
"The driving force behind this Muslim ban are the Islamophobes and the white supremacists employed by the Trump administration, including [counterterrorism advisor] Sebastian Gorka, [chief strategist] Steve Bannon, and [senior policy advisor] Stephen Miller," CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad told a press conference at the group's Capitol Hill headquarters.
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