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  • Article: Trump’s Muslim Immigration Policy, Unconstitutional and Unworthy of America. By Wendy Feliz

    Trump’s Muslim Immigration Policy, Unconstitutional and Unworthy of America



    The latest, outrageous proposal out of the Trump for President campaign came via a “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration” where the candidate calls “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

    According to Vox, “His campaign has clarified that this would apply to ‘everybody,’ mentioning in particular Muslims entering the U.S. as immigrants or tourists… It also, as his campaign later clarified, means that Muslim-American citizens who are currently traveling abroad would be prevented from reentering the US.”

    This proposal was immediately met with criticism from fellow presidential candidates, political and religious leaders, and legal experts. Yet, how realistic is such a policy? Has the U.S. ever done something comparable and would this kind of immigration policy stand up to legal and public scrutiny?

    According to a Washington Post report, the last time the U.S. barred an entire group from entering the U.S. was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, “which “effectively halted Chinese immigration for ten years.” The Act was “induced by blind racism and eagerness to deflect blame onto other groups,” noted one analysis of the Act.

    However, Trump’s proposal would go further than the Chinese Exclusion Act by banning an entire religion—a religion observed by the populations of multiple nations and individuals of various races and ethnicities. Such a ban would likely violate a range of international agreements to which the U.S. has entered. And similar to the Chinese Exclusion Act, which “severely damaged transnational relations,” there is little doubt such a policy would have far-reaching, damaging impacts on U.S. interests abroad.

    Experts aslo weighed in on whether the anti-Muslim proposal would hold up to legal scrutiny and international standards.

    An exasperated Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert, told the Washington Post:

    “Oh, for the love of God…This would not only violate international law, but do so by embracing open discrimination against one religion. It would make the United States a virtual pariah among nations.’’

    And Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law expert and professor of law at Cornell, told the New York Times that the Supreme Court would likely strike down this type of overly-restrictive immigration policy under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment:

    “Putting the policy into practice would require an unlikely act of Congress…It would certainly be challenged as unconstitutional…And I predict the Supreme Court would strike it down.”

    Finally, putting the history lesson and legal questions aside, is this truly the path the U.S. public would want to see the country take? A public that, by and large, prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, built on diversity, religious tolerance, and equality?

    Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, articulated what is most likely on the minds of millions of Americans as they consider Trump’s latest proposal, “Rooting our nation’s immigration policy in religious bigotry and discrimination will not make America great again.”

    Trump’s latest immigration policy proposal is nothing more than political showmanship that harkens back to some of the darker days in our nation’s history and feeds the fear mongers among us. How can anyone believe this is the way to move a country forward?

    Photo by Michael Vadon.

    This post originally appeared on Immigration Impact. Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Wendy Feliz is the Director of Communications at the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Feliz served as Director of Development at New America Media, after having worked at the Open Society Institute, and public radio station WAMU 88.5 as the Manager of Foundation Relations and Public Information. Ms. Feliz has spent much of her career in the non-profit world including with The California Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in East Los Angeles and The Young Adult Institute and Latino Worker’s Center in New York City. Ms. Feliz received her M.A. in Public Communication from the American University in Washington D.C. and she holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School University in New York.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. tlwinslow's Avatar
      tlwinslow -
      Sorry, but Turley seems to have missed class the day they taught constitutional law at law school. He says that a Congressional law prohibiting entry into the U.S. of Muslims would be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I guess he never heard of Harisiades v. Shaughnessy (1952), in which the Supreme Court declared that it has no power to review a Congressional law regarding immigration because Congress has the absolute power to determine when somebody's entry is a threat to national security, which trumps all other considerations including religion, due process of law, equal protection, etc. It won't even review Congress' actions, much less rule them unconstitutional, but how can it when the power is totally in the hands of the People through their representatives in Congress to protect them from threats to national security? An attempt by the Supreme Court to tell Congress who it can and can't admit would be tantamount to treason against the Constitution, giving Congress the right to impeach the justices involved. You progressive loonies still cling to the fantasy that you can override the will of the People by getting a few progressive justices appointed to the SC, how sad. You even mentioned international law. Sorry, there is no such thing. It's just a fantasy in progressives' minds. The U.S. govt. has always been and will always remain sovereign, sole and supreme in its own borders, unless/until it is conquered militarily. Progressives' only straw to grab hold of is the "it's not who we are" stump speech, which is merely an attempt to proselytize.

      But when it comes to Islam, you progressives have met your match, because it's not about us and our xenophobia, bigotry, etc.., it's about them. Islam is not just another amusing religion like Hari Krishna, it's a 1400-year world domination movement that comes with its own government and military arm with the avowed goal of destroying every infidel govt. and its constitution by all means available. Again, the 1952 U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Sec. 212, Chap. 2 prohibits entry into the U.S. of aliens belonging to an organization seeking the unlawful overthrow of the federal government of the United States by force, violence and other unconstitutional means. Obviously, only Muslims who resign from the "Muslim organization", i.e., the Ummah by apostasizing and burning their bridges should even be eligible. This should have nothing to do with their supposed status as refugees, widows, orphans, or even their skills such as engineer, physicist, physician, etc. With Islam, membership in the Ummah is not only for life but continues into the afterlife, making their DNA incompatible with that of American citizens of all types. Every Muslim in America is incapable of being part of the body politic, because they can't deny their god, who demands that they subvert and eliminate the infidel Constitution that tolerates them and replace it with the intolerant supremacist Sharia that makes Islam the official religion and gives all power to Muslims, treating everybody else as cattle that are tolerated only as long as they don't "offend Islam", like in Muslim countries now. Sorry, p-people, truth hurts.

      That said, as president, The Donald has only been granted temporary emergency powers by Congress to bar entry of Muslims, and it will still require them to make it permanent, after which the president will have to sign it in law and/or survive a veto override attempt. Even then, as with Pres. Obama, he can choose to refuse to enforce it and play footsie with Congress. This is because all power is still in the hands of the People via their elected representatives, not the U.N. or some other globalist asses, ain't America great.

    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Neither the author of this article or the commentator above mentions the most important Supreme Court decision of all related to this issue, namely Kleindeinst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972). In that case, a well known Marxist and pro-Communist scholar and author was denied a visitor visa in order to speak at a conference in the US on ideological grounds, even though there was no specific finding that he personally presented any danger of subversion.

      If Muslim immigrants were to be excluded from the US on the theory that Islam is an anti-American ideology, not just a religion, (assuming that Congress passes a law to that effect), there might be a very small chance of the law's being upheld by today's right-wing dominated Supreme Court. However, one would hope that reason, and the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, would prevail over the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hysteria and bigotry which Donald Trump and his supporters are exploiting in support of what could well turn out to be his rise to dictatorship in America.

      A further discussion of Kleindienst is warranted by anyone who wants to approach this issue in a serious manner from either side. I will examine that case in an upcoming ilw.com/Immigration Daily post.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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