The Supreme Court has ruled on Donald Trump’s “travel ban” that restricts immigration from seven foreign nations. After more than a year of legal fighting, the 5 to 4 decision upholds the President’s right to issue a ban on certain groups entering the country.
And, right on cue, liberals were quickly in meltdown mode, with the usual nonsense about Hillary “losing” the election and Senate Republicans stealing Obama’s Supreme Court pick in 2016.
Trump’s act was a “deeply disturbing ban based on discrimination,” wrote actor Josh Gad.
Mia Farrow tweeted: “Travel ban is born of this president’s xenophobia. Today’s Supreme Court ruling could further encourage fear and hatred among his followers. It also makes clear that we need laws to govern a tyrannical president.”
Rob “Meathead” Reiner tweeted: “With today’s Supreme Court ruling the slippery slope just got a whole lot more slippery. If we don’t want 242 years of self rule to slip into fascism, we’ll need the blue wave to overcome gerrymandering, Russian meddling & complicit media propaganda. Fight for Democracy! VOTE!!!”
Bette Midler tweeted: “Looks like the USA as we know it is over. RIP”
These egotistical ignoramuses act as if this has never happened before. But, as we’ve seen so many times since January 20, 2017, they scream and shout at many policies because it’s President Donald Trump in the White House.
Throughout history, the United States has followed three general immigration policies. The first is what can be called “Free Immigration,” a policy that lasted until 1882, which allowed anyone who could get to the United States to be admitted without restriction – no literacy test or any prohibitions against different ethnic groups. But very few people came, perhaps no more than five million until after the Civil War because there weren’t many good reasons to come.
The second policy was “Exclusion,” beginning in 1882. Under this policy, certain groups were excluded for a variety of reasons. Some of these exclusions were based on race or similar reasons, and some based on certain occupational groups regardless of their country of origin, such as convicted felons, prostitutes, gamblers, and the like.
The third policy, “Selection and Restriction,” was adopted in 1927 with the National Origins Act. This policy set up a quota system where each ethnic group outside the Western Hemisphere was assigned a quota based on the percentage of that ethnic group’s population in the United States. That quota system lasted until 1965 and Ted Kennedy’s infamous immigration law that has allowed the flood of third world migrants into the country.
As for bans and exclusions, the first major exclusionary policy came in 1882 with the “Chinese Exclusion Act.” With nearly 300,000 Chinese in the country, and with the rise in anti-Chinese sentiment on the Pacific Coast, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act to prohibit any more Chinese immigrants from entering the United States. The ban remained until 1943 and no court ever touched the law.
In 1924, Congress passed the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Signed by President Calvin Coolidge, this law excluded all non-Caucasians from entering the United States. In other words, if you weren’t white, you weren’t getting in. But that ban lasted only three years, but not because a federal court struck it down; only because a new law was passed.
Whether these bans were morally right or wrong is not the issue here. I’m merely pointing out that for more than 135 years, the US government has used its powers over immigration and naturalization to exclude certain groups from entering the country on a discriminatory basis. And the courts stayed out of it.
A 1952 immigration law, the Walter-McCarran Act, gave the President the legal authority to ban any class of “alien” he “shall deem necessary” if they are “detrimental to the interests” of the nation.
The law reads:
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.
In keeping with the spirit of the law, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling recognized that the President had “sufficient national security justification” in issuing the travel ban.
And, yes, Democratic Presidents have used it too. Clinton did it 12 times; Obama 19 times. Comparatively speaking, Ronald Reagan only used the authority 5 times.
But for liberals the issue is not law or reason; it’s pure emotion. A CNN panel discussion led by Jake Tapper pondered why the majority of the Court did not consider Trump’s “racist” and “anti-Muslim” comments in their decision-making process, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor did in her dissent. Perhaps because that is not their job; it is to apply the law based on the Constitution. A President’s campaign rhetoric is not part of the equation.
Furthermore, Justices Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg accused the Court’s majority of “turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals.” Interestingly, as hard as I tried, I could not find that phrase anywhere in the law or the Constitution.
But, with all due respect to the emotional outbursts of washed up Hollywood actors, or low IQ Supreme Court justices, the law is clear and it has been for decades: The President can, for whatever reason he chooses, ban “any class of aliens” from the United States. And there’s nothing in the Constitution to stop him from doing it and no federal court can lawfully interfere.