The Huffington Post and some Republican lawmakers Tuesday expressed doubt over whether Congress would ever give a President Donald Trump the power to restrict immigration from countries with a history of terrorism against the United States. However, that authority is already delegated to the president.
The HuffPo article says:
“‘The immigration laws of the United States give the president powers to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons,’ [Trump] said at a Monday event. “I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats.”
It’s doubtful Republican leaders would ever give him that authority, considering they’ve condemned his statements about banning Muslim visitors and immigrants”
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, however, Republican leaders would not need to give Trump this authority.
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate,” the law states.
Republican lawmakers interviewed by The Huffington Post for the article also seemed unaware of this immigration law.
South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds said, “I don’t think you can ban people based on their religious beliefs.” When asked directly by The Huffington Post if Trump would have the authority to bar Muslims from entering the U.S, Rounds laughed and said, “no.”
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe also told The Huffington Post that Trump wouldn’t have the authority to ban a certain class of aliens, in this case Muslims.
“The Constitution is the Constitution — it doesn’t work that way,” Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert said about the ban.
But legal experts disagree with that assessment.
“No kind of immigration restriction is unconstitutional,” Temple University law professor Jan Ting previously told The Daily Caller. “The U.S. government can exclude a foreign national on any basis,” Ting added.
University of Chicago law school professor Eric Posner agrees with Ting, having told The Los Angeles Times, “If you take seriously the cases that have been decided in the past, they would find [Trump’s Muslim ban] constitutional.”