Trump who loudly and frequently proclaimed that he would “ban Muslims” from entering the United States throughout his Presidential campaign wrapped his Executive order in the American flag and invoked the memory of the 9/11 attacks to justify his action.
by Edward C. Corrigan
U.S. President Donald Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” banned entry into the United States to anyone who had citizenship in one of 7 Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The attacks on September 11, 2001 were cited as the justification and the Order stated that “numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism related crimes” and asserted that “the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.”
Trump who loudly and frequently proclaimed that he would “ban Muslims” from entering the United States throughout his Presidential campaign wrapped his Executive order in the American flag and invoked the memory of the 9/11 attacks to justify his action. This promise to “ban Muslims” resonated with the Conservative American Heartland securing Trump a majority in the American Electoral Collage. The Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by a large margin but lost the all important Electoral College to Trump.
As one US Federal Court Judge pointed out in overturning the Order that there was not a single act of terrorism committed in the United States since 9/11 by any individual from the 7 banned countries. According to the FBI the hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda. Fifteen of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt, and Lebanon.(1) It has been suggested that these Muslim countries were not on the list because of Trump’s business ties to those countries.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision of the Washington State Federal Court Judge who ruled the Executive Order on the 7 countries unconstitutional and imposed a prohibition on the enforcement of the Order in the entire United States. (No. 17-35105 D.C. no. 2:17-cv-00141) The Attorney Generals of the States of Washington and Minnesota led the challenge against Trump’s Executive Order.
There was mixed enforcement of the Federal Court’s initial Order and some Homeland Security Officials continue to detain legally authorized individuals from the 7 countries and other individuals who made refugee claims. However, after the US Federal Court of Appeal upheld the decision to overturn the Order the Rule of Law was generally enforced.
It was the unanimous view of the Judges that the Executive Order was discriminatory and overly broad and lacked the necessary factual basis to support such a wide spread attack on refugees and individuals who have been issued valid visas to enter the United States. Even individuals who had “Green Cards” and were legal Permanent Residents in the United States but were citizens of the 7 proscribed countries were arrested and detained at airports and denied entry. There was chaos at the airports and people were terrified that they were being arbitrarily separated from their love ones. There were widespread demonstrations against Trump’s Executive Order.
Pictures of a 5 year-old child who was a citizen of one of the proscribed countries being placed in hand cuffs did not present President Trump in a favourable light. Student and Professors who were retuning to the United States after a visit home were being barred from entry and stopped from pursuing their studies or teaching assignments. There were security cleared and vetted Iraqi refugees who had worked as translators for the U.S. Military were being denied entry and threatened with being returned to Iraq where their work for the US military put their lives at risk.
There were many other absurdities like barring Israeli Citizens who also were citizens one of the 7 banned countries. Also banning Christians from those countries who on the face of the Order could not enter the U.S.
Canadians who were Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada but also citizens of one of the 7 Countries were also barred entry into the United States. Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is a Canadian but also a Citizen of Somalia and even he cannot enter the United States under the terms of the Executive Order.
Many Canadian schools cancelled their school trips to the United States because many students were Muslim and from the 7 banned countries and the schools would not risk that some of their students would be denied entry. Trumps’ ban and apparent anti-Muslim policies also caused many travellers to cancel their planned trips to the United States.
When the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the ruling to declare the Executive Order unconstitutional Trump vowed to take the case to the United States Supreme Court. In all no less than 5 United States Federal Court Judges ruled the order unconstitutional. Due to the rushed and poorly thought out nature of the Order and the lack of notice and lack of due process it was fairly obvious that the previous decisions overturning Trump’s Executive Order would not be reversed.
It appears that Donald Trump who has never had any pervious experience in government saw himself as an Executive of a Company and not a country that has three different levels of government and clear division of powers. Trump no doubt learned a valuable lesson about the Rule of Law and that there are legal limits on what he can do.
Trump is intent to continue his anti-migrant and anti-refugee policies. On February 20, 2017 a draft Memorandum on the “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” was prepared. However, this time to focus was directed to the many illegal Latinos living in the United States.
There are more than 950,000 illegal migrants with “legal removal orders” who have disappeared in the American population.
There maybe as many as 10 million illegals living and working in the United States. Trump and his administration have promised to arrest and deport as many illegals as possible. This included groups with children born in the United States or who have lived in American for many years that were treated more leniently by the previous Obama Administration.
Trump has announced that he plans to deport large numbers of illegal migrants including those who are suspected of having committed even minor criminal offenses. He also wants to use existing laws to expedite refugee claimants and give US Immigration Officers wide discretionary powers to reject refugee claimants and expedite removal.
With all of the scare mongering and hype over deporting undocumented migrants many illegals stopped going to the fields to harvest the crops due to a fear of being arrested and deported. The crops are now rotting in the fields since most Americans will not do this type of work for a pittance.
Trump and the American people are about to discover how much they depend on cheap migrant labour. It is going to be very interesting times in the United States until they sort out their labour and immigration problems and learn to live with Donald Trump.
Edward C. Corrigan is a lawyer certified as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law and Immigration and Refugee Protection by the Law Society of Upper Canada in London, Ontario, Canada.
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