IRLI Files Brief in Supreme Court Defending Trump National Security Executive Order

Press Releases

August 17, 2017

Ensuring the safety and security of our communities

(Washington, D.C.) – In a hard-hitting brief filed today (attached here), the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) called for the United States Supreme Court to dismiss the two pending challenges by open borders interests in Hawaii and Maryland to President Trump’s March 2017 so-called “Travel Ban” Executive Order.

“The constitution does not permit the state of Hawaii and Honolulu Muslim Imam El-Sheikh to shackle the immigration or foreign affairs powers of the President by means of a federal injunction without express permission from Congress,” explained IRLI Executive Director Dale L. Wilcox. “In legal terms, the state and the Imam have no private right of action to block either the President’s temporary restrictions on visas for nationals of six Middle Eastern nations that do not assist the U.S. in screening visa applicants for terrorist and other national security risks, or the President’s prudent cut-back in the number of Middle Eastern refugees that we can safely admit during the current fiscal year.”

“The court in Honolulu inexplicably failed in its first duty, to determine jurisdiction. In its zeal to engage in a turf battle with a President whose election they certainly opposed, the radical Ninth Circuit then ignored this bedrock principle of American law,” Wilcox added. The Ninth Circuit upheld the Hawaii injunction on the theory that the President could not suspend granting travel visas and admission at U.S. ports of entry to nationals of those high-risk countries by declaring that entry of such nationals would harm the national interest, because such a declaration would supposedly harm U.S. relatives who had filed immigrant visa petitions on their behalf.

Unlike the Ninth Circuit injunction, the Fourth Circuit decision, now combined into the Travel Ban case, found that, because the President called for restrictions on immigration from Muslim nations during his 2016 campaign, his March 2017 order to suspend entry from those nations on national security grounds was a pretext that violated U.S. citizens’ Establishment Clause rights, by demeaning the Islamic faith but not others when granting immigrant visas.

“The Constitution should not be interpreted to imperil the safety of the United States,” IRLI states in its brief. “If upheld, the Fourth Circuit’s attempted evisceration of the President’s First Amendment rights while on the campaign trail would immediately expose this country to lawsuits by American adherents to the jihadi religious beliefs of ISIS,” Wilcox explained. “ISIS is a bona fide religious cult as well as a major national security threat. If President Trump cannot express strong opinions on the problems of immigration from nations where jihadi terrorists are active without violating the Establishment Clause, then the same twisted theory would protect American jihadists who feel demeaned when their overseas ISIS brethren are denied visas.”

“Gutting the President’s constitutional power to conduct foreign affairs on the ground that a U.S. citizen felt their subjective religious beliefs were demeaned would send shock waves through all three branches of government,” warned Wilcox. “But I am confident that the Supreme Court will recognize the constitutional perils and affirm the President’s authority to carry out the immigration controls imposed by Congress and delegated to him for action,” he concluded.

The combined cases are 16-1436, Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project (from the Fourth Circuit) and 16-1540, Trump v. State of Hawaii (from the Ninth Circuit).

For additional information, contact: Jade Haney • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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