Letters - Constitutional grounds for temporary US travel ban

"How Trump's politics affect us" (Beyond the Wall, Feb 10) refers.

In the first paragraph the writer lays down his opinion: "For all intents and purposes, President Trump sees every Muslim as an extremist or a potential terrorist and a security threat to the US."

I have two questions: Why then does Trump not order for a permanent ban? And why a temporary suspension on only seven Muslim countries? Out of 56 Muslim-majority countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he chose only seven. And out of 10 countries with the largest Muslim population, he listed only Iran.

These seven countries, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, are the same seven on Obama's list that he signed a few years back. The countries were selected on the basis of their being nurturing grounds for the export of terrorism, exactly a strong reason for concern with regard to national security. And national security is precisely what Trump's Executive Order 13769 is all about, "to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism." A period of review is needed for all relevant agencies to evaluate current practices and come up with new more efficient procedures.

Trump's executive order has solid constitutional and statutory grounding. Harvard trained lawyer, Joseph Klein, referred this US Supreme Court conclusion from a 1950 case, "The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty. The right to do so stems not alone from legislative power, but is inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation. When Congress prescribes a procedure concerning the admissibility of aliens, it is not dealing alone with a legislative power. It is implementing an inherent executive power."

Klein adds, Congress reaffirmed the president's power with respect to decisions excluding aliens in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was originally enacted in 1952.

It still has this language: "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 a period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate."

Daniel Horowitz, in a column at the Conservative Review, reminds us of two centuries of case law. He adds, "the accepted laws of nation states, and the principles of the social compact, popular sovereignty, and jurisdictional sovereignty, the American people – as expressed through their elected representatives – have the right to exclude or deport any non-citizen for any reason."

That Trump's executive order is controversial doesn't amount to anything, given that no one, (except for a few insightful souls), not even his own party gave him any chance of winning the election. That Judge Robart can give deference to the speculative interests asserted by the states of Washington and Minnesota, who claimed without any concrete evidence that the temporary suspension adversely affected the States residents. Is he a judge when he has wilfully ignored clearly-worded federal statute? Without any legal analysis and lacking access to classified information on threats to national security that the president of the United States has at his disposal, Robart took it upon himself to substitute his judgment for the president's.

Robart also declared that his order would have to be implemented nationally, thus improperly imputing to the other 48 states, the claims of the two states before him that are actually within his jurisdiction to adjudicate.

However, on the same day that Robart issued his decision, the federal district court in Massachusetts reached a contrary conclusion, that Trump's executive order was a lawful exercise of the political branches plenary control over the admission of aliens into the United States. Robard did not even follow his own statement, "The role assigned to the court is not to create policy, and it is not to judge the wisdom of policy created by the other two branches."

That the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals did not reverse Robart's decision is no surprise. ... In 2012 the US Supreme Court reversed an astonishing 86% of the decisions of this court. Apparently, unelected judges in the US now can conduct foreign affairs.

Without knowledge of these constitutional details, it did not prevent the writer from venting that Trump's executive order is unjust. Well if only he could proffer some laws that Trump has violated. It should be repeated that this controversy arose from an unjust premise that is held by Trump's opponents, that by some mysterious reason, America is the only country that has no right to choose who it can let in.

Where is the outrage against all those wealthy Muslim nations, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, none of whom offered to take in their fellow Muslims. That has to be the greatest travesty.

To conclude let's look at the last paragraph. In the real world, the only way anyone can be 'a la' Hitler is when they set off on a spasm of conquest and community massacres.

H Y Goh