In a case which never should have even reached the US Supreme Court, that body has ruled that President Donald Trump does have the right to ban travel from six countries on the grounds of national security—an acknowledgement that Federal Law specifically grants the president such power, a fact which all the politically-motivated legal challenges and lower court judgments have ignored.
Trump’s original order was completely legal and in line with existing US law, specifically U.S. Code Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, § 1182 which deals with “Inadmissible aliens.”
According to Section (f) of that code, titled “Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President” the law states:
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.
That was exactly what Trump did. His original order, signed on January 27, 2017, on “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” suspends for 90 days the issuance of visas to anyone trying to enter the US from seven countries that even the Obama administration identified as “countries of concern” because of their terrorism histories.
All of the court challenges against the order had blatantly ignored this legal reality, and the orders blocking the implementation of the travel ban have all been in violation of US Code—and obviously motivated by political bias rather than legal reality.
The Supreme Court ruled—with the dissent of Hispanic Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Jewess Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—that Trump was justified in adhering to the law.
Even the Jewess Justice Elena Kagan, a Barack Obama nominee, sided with the majority decision, unable to bring herself to directly contradict the explicit terms of the law.
The ruling will mean that at last the travel ban will now go fully into effect for “visitors” from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the United States. Trump’s ban also covers people from North Korea and certain government officials from Venezuela, but the lower courts had already allowed those provisions to go into effect.
Trump put the restrictions in place after a worldwide review of the ability of each country in the world to issue reliable passports and share data with the United States, and was not based on “discrimination against Muslims” as the anti-Trump media has claimed.In a statement, US attorney-general Jeff Sessions called the Supreme Court’s action “a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people”.
Sessions said the Trump administration was heartened that a clear majority of the justices “allowed the president’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect.”
There are some exceptions to the ban. Certain people from each targeted country can still apply for a visa for tourism, business or education purposes, and an applicant can ask for an individual waiver.