On March 6, 2017, President Trump made a second attempt at protecting the nation from the submission of foreign terrorists. However, this “watered down version” of the same titled first order was blocked by federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii.
Upon review of the plain language and purpose of the newly issued Executive Order, it may difficult to comprehend why there exists such controversy pertaining to President Trump’s policy related to potential entry of foreign terrorists, appropriate national security measures, the visa issuance process and the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Considering the plain language of said Executive Order only, many legal scholars would agree that the President is operating within the power and scope Congress granted him in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Unfortunately for President Trump and his administration, each federal judge who blocked the less intrusive second executive order, appears to have attributed major significance to statements made by then candidate Trump on the road to the White House in 2015. Additionally, some scholars suggest that Mr. Trump and other staff members further stirred the pot in subsequent statements which could be interpreted as temporarily prohibiting the entry of certain individuals (without an approved visa or legal U.S. status) from: Iran; Libya; Somalia; Sudan; Syria; and Yemen solely on the basis of their religion.
Thus as legal scholars and experts alike attempt to peel back the procedural and substantive layers related to the March 2017 Executive Order, the issue of immigration could very well be utilized as a vehicle to even greater, more foundationally important topics for debate. Such as, the power of the judicial branch when scrutinizing the national security decisions and policy of the executive branch. Or, whether the current levels of constitutional scrutiny will lead to a “right answer” when analyzing moments where fundamental values of national security vs. the Establishment Clause are in direct competition to name a few.
These issues more will likely remain at the forefront of national debate (within the immigration and other legal contexts) for some time. Therefore, it is always wise to have the counsel of an experienced, qualified immigration attorney to advocate on behalf of you and yours.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Richard M. Wilner
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Aaron K. Pugmire
Aaron Pugmire is an Associate Attorney in the Sacramento office of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC. He is admitted to practice law by the State Bar of California. Mr. Pugmire’s primary areas of focus include family based immigration and removal defense.
Of note, each of the six countries enumerated in the second executive order, have been designated by Congress and other previous administrations as (1) state sponsors of terror; (2) active combat zone where terrorist organizations are highly involved in battle; and/or (3) portions of selected countries are safe havens for terrorist activity.