On Refugee Travel Pause, Supreme Court Delivers Trump a 90 Percent Victory

By Joe Guzzardi
June 27, 2017
 
Although several lower courts blocked President Trump’s executive order travel ban, the ultimate outcome was never in doubt. Liberal judicial activists, mostly appointees of former President Obama, in predominantly Democratic states, rejected two versions of President Trump’s order to temporarily bar entry to migrants from terrorist-sponsoring Middle Eastern countries. The Supreme Court slapped down the opinions of blue state justices. Rightly so. The opinions were based mostly on Trump campaign rhetoric that they interpreted as anti-Muslim, but not on settled law which gives sitting presidents the authority to limit or end immigration.

Daniel Horowitz has written extensively in the Conservative Review about the misguided, politically motivated lower court decisions and, in a reference to the Fourth Circuit Court, concluded that the justices had codified the Obama administration’s willful disregard for, and blindness to, constitutionally established law. Congress and the president, pursuant to his Article II powers, determine which aliens enter the country, and not unelected, lower court judges.
 
In its unanimous 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed presidents’ plenary immigration powers. The unanimous vote means that four justices who supported President Obama’s unconstitutional deferred action for childhood arrivals, including President Trump’s vocal critic Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who called him an egotistical faker), reaffirmed his executive order.
 
From the outset, President Trump has insisted that national security fears motivated him when drafting the order. Refugee resettlement, now banned for 120 days, facilitates terrorists’ entry, and tighter refugee screening, which President Trump promises to deliver, is overdue. The core problem is that refugees after one year of physical presence receive lawful permanent resident green cards. With a green card in hand, refugees can travel freely between the U.S. and their home nation where they often get terrorist training.
 
About 30 documented examples of refugee perpetrated-terrorist activity have occurred since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (six dead, 1,000 wounded). They include the high profile Boston Marathon bombing (three dead and more than 260 injured), the Ohio State University slasher who tried to murder his classmates first with his vehicle, then with a knife, and Somali refugees in Minneapolis who tried to fight for ISIS in Syria and eventually were convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy.
 
Despite its benefits, the Supreme Court’s ruling will throw the existing system into chaos, and introduces a new set of challenges. The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 50,000 refugees from the six banned nations are in the pipeline, their fates unclear. And the Supreme Court threw its own monkey wrench into the proceeding when it added the caveat that individuals with a bona fide, a “close familial relationship,” or relationship with some group, in the U.S., would be admitted. Depending on how courts may interpret bona fide, the term could mean a distant aunt or uncle, a university that’s accepted a Middle Eastern student, a corporation that’s offered an international job applicant employment, or none of the above.

 
To be sure, these are glitches. But the Supreme Court’s decision represents a victory for President Trump, and is an encouraging sign for when oral arguments in the case will be heard in October. But right now, the big winners are the American majority who support President Trump’s refugee restrictions.
 

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

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