When the president acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate. In these circumstances, and in these only, may he be said (for what it may be worth) to personify the federal sovereignty. If his act is held unconstitutional under these circumstances, it usually means that the federal government as an undivided whole lacks power.
— Justice Robert Jackson, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer
While nullifying Trump’s immigration order, the so-called “judges” were conniving in their omission of any statute. As I noted last week, every part of Trump’s order is covered by multiple statutes. This week, I found two more portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that support his actions.
1. INA 212(f) [8 U.S.C. §1182(f)]
Gives the president at-will and absolute power to shut off any immigrant and non-immigrant visa category for any period of time if he determines — subject to nobody else’s review — that it’s in the national interests.
This single statute covers every aspect of the order.
2. INA 215(a)(1)[8 U.S.C. §1185(a)(1)]
Conditions entry or exit of any alien (immigrant and nonimmigrant) to “reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”
No limitations are placed on this power, and it was used by Jimmy Carter during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
3. 8 U.S.C. §1184(a)(1)
Conditions the “admission to the United States of any alien as a nonimmigrant” to “such time and under such conditions as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe.”
4. 8 U.S. Code §1735
Passed unanimously by Congress in 2002, requires the president to cut off visas to state sponsors of terrorism, which at the time of passage, included five of the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban.
Trump could easily add Somalia and Yemen to the terror state list and reinstate Iraq and Libya – and it would all be covered under this statute.
5. 8 U.S.C. §1157(a)(2)
Grants the president full authority to set the cap and geographic intake of refugees. Obama used it to the detriment of the country; Trump can use it to protect our security.
After further researching the INA, I found two more applicable provisions:
6. 8 U.S. Code §1201(h)(i)
Makes it clear that the issuance of a visa does not “entitle any alien” to be “admitted [into] the United States, if, upon arrival at a port of entry in the United States, he is found to be inadmissible under this chapter, or any other provision of law.”
Thus if the president, using the other authorities and his war powers, chooses to suspend particular visas, those individuals are inadmissible under law. Furthermore, the statute continues by giving plenary power to customs officials to revoke visas at any time.
What’s more, this provision of law, which passed the Senate 96-2 in 2004, explicitly stripped the courts of any jurisdiction to adjudicate the revocation of visas for anyone seeking entry into the country (as opposed to someone living here who is being deported).
The jurisdiction-stripping provision includes even a basic habeas corpus petition. How in the world can the courts be allowed to get involved in this matter? It is unconstitutional. I’m glad to see that the state of Texas has made this argument in its amicus brief against the liberal states suing the Trump administration.
7. 8 U.S. Code §1253(d)
Requires the secretary of State to cut off both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to foreign nationals of countries that refuse to repatriate their illegal or criminal aliens. According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, as reported by The Washington Times, 27 countries qualify for a visa cutoff, including five of the seven countries targeted under Trump’s order (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan).
Accordingly, not only is Trump triple and quadruple covered by statute for every aspect of his immigration order (not to mention his own foreign affairs powers), he is actually required to cut off visas pursuant to several laws. Moreover, the courts have absolutely no authority to even adjudicate a case second-guessing a president’s action with regards to foreign nationals seeking entry into this country. Politics aside, the law is the law.
Yet where is Congress? Where are GOP leaders rushing to join Steve King in condemning the courts even in a non-binding resolution for their display of civil disobedience?
Make no mistake about it. There is not one morsel of legitimacy to these court opinions. They are engaging in civil disobedience and nullification against our most foundational laws governing security and sovereignty of the entire federal union.
As Robert Bork observed during a time when the courts weren’t nearly as rogue as they are today: “To the objection that a rejection of a court’s authority would be civil disobedience, the answer is that a court that issues orders without authority engages in an equally dangerous form of civil disobedience.”