Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
March 10, 2017
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief (attached here) in a federal lawsuit brought by the State of Hawaii to challenge as unlawful President Trump’s new Executive Order (EO) temporarily freezing the issuance of visas to certain previously designated terror-risk nations. The President signed the EO on Monday, which is scheduled to take effect March 16.
In the case of State of Hawaii v. Trump, the State is seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the EO’s implementation. A hearing on the State’s request is scheduled for March 15.
Hawaii alleges that the new EO violates, among other things, the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause by disfavoring Islam, the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating on the basis of religion and/or national origin, nationality, or alienage, and the Due Process Clause by restricting travel and depriving liberty interests without a hearing. Also joining Hawaii in the lawsuit is Ismail Elshikh, Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, who alleges that the EO inflicts injury on Muslims in Hawaii, including his family and members of his Mosque.
In its brief filed today, IRLI urged the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request for a TRO. IRLI showed the court that the plaintiffs not only grossly misunderstand immigration law, but their complaint is based in deep historical illiteracy and a serious disrespect for the sovereignty of the American nation. IRLI called the court’s attention to at least seven distinct provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that authorize the President to implement the EO. Unsurprisingly, Hawaii’s new complaint fails to deal with these provisions, mentioning one such provision only once and in a cursory fashion.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “More than a hundred years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, ‘The right to exclude or to expel aliens, or any class of aliens, absolutely or upon certain conditions, in war or in peace, is an inherent and inalienable right of every sovereign nation.’”
Wilcox continued, “In our constitutional system, Congress has been delegated plenary power over immigration. It has enacted many statutes over decades that restrict alien-entry based on nationality, religion, and ideology; none of which Hawaii’s lawyers bother to deal with here. Through those statutes, Congress has given the President broad authority to control the entry of aliens into the United States who he deems detrimental to our interests.“
Wilcox commented further, “Judicial review over presidential action taken pursuant to that power would not only create giant obstacles to the elected branch’s power over our nation’s borders, but would also severely burden the federal courts. The TRO should not issue and the case should be dismissed as lacking merit.”