By now, I am sure that everyone has heard of President Trump’s latest executive order last Friday that essentially bans people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria from traveling into the United States for the next 90 days. It also does not allow any refugees into the country for the next 120 days, with Syrian refugees banned indefinitely. It also cuts Former President Obama’s refugee acceptance cap in half, to 50,000.
After the order was signed on Friday, people who were traveling from the seven listed countries were being held in airports. Some were blocked from entering the United States, and some were even sent back overseas to their country of origin. After news of this spread, there was public outrage that spread across the country and prompted many protests in various airports.
On Saturday night, a judge from Brooklyn issued a ruling that airports had no right to send people back to their country of origin and judges from Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington state quickly backed up the same ruling. Many more judges have been speaking out as to the unconstitutionality of the executive order. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates spoke out against the order and asked the justice department to not defend the executive order in court. Within hours of making this statement, she was relieved of her duties by Trump. The Department of Homeland Security has claimed that they will continue to back the order except in the cases of those with green cards who will be permitted to travel.
There are a number of legal issues with this executive order. Countless numbers of federal judges have been speaking out against this order claiming that it is unconstitutional. Trump allegedly left much of his inner circle in the dark about the executive order, and it was created with little to no legal review or input from departments that are responsible for carrying out the order: namely Homeland Security. As of now, the execution of this order has been left up to “discretionary authority” to subject travelers to additional scrutiny, especially if they have been to one of the seven aforementioned countries; however, this has been met with much confusion as various airports are attempting to figure out how to handle the situation.
Hopefully, in the coming weeks the president will recognize the ramifications of this unconstitutional order. This in my opinion was a brash action that was taken without careful consideration of the legal or cultural implications and is in no way constitutional. While our country has an unfortunate history of restricting immigration from certain parts of the world during times of crisis, nothing has really been done on this scale barring this many people from entering our borders. Currently, the American Civil Liberties Union is attempting to file a class action suit on behalf of all those who have been detained and they hope to gain progress in overturning the order.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.