Yet ANOTHER response from Rep. Rohrabacher--that makes four of them thus far today, though three of them are identical. This one regards my letter about Tr*mp's Executive Order restricting immigration from several Muslim countries. It's also, of course, boilerplate; and I think its point about "passing legal muster" is, as of this moment, moot. Still, here we go. (If you find the language almost impossible to read, you're not alone!)
Dear Mr. Clothier,
Thank you for contacting me with your views regarding President Donald Trump’s Executive Order (EO) temporarily restricting immigration from six nations and suspending the refugee resettlement program. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
As you may know, on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an EO directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deny entry to the United States any national from the countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The EO specified that the suspension be for 90 days to give the Administration time to review its vetting processes to ensure the security of the United States. It also suspended the resettlement of refugees in the United States for four months for the same reason. On February 3, 2017, a Federal District Judge issued a restraining order to halt the EO, and on February 5, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for a stay of the restraining order by the Department of Justice. On February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel unanimously upheld the decision by the lower court citing President Trump’s comments on the campaign trail regarding a potential temporary ban on Muslim immigration. It also stated that Justice Department lawyers failed to provide evidence that that those affected by the executive order had previously carried out attacks on U.S. soil.
On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a revised EO that removed Iraq from the list of countries affected, provided for a ten-day window prior to its implementation, lifted the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and excluded all those who held valid visas. Despite these modifications, the State of Hawaii challenged the new EO in court, and another U.S. District Judge issued a temporary restraining order to halt its implementation.
I believe these orders pass constitutional and legal muster. Section 1182(f) of federal immigration law reads:
“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens to the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, 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.”
Moreover, claims that this order violates the clause in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that states a president may not suspend nationals based on national origin do not hold up when one considers the intent of that provision. Its purpose was to prohibit racially and ethnically discriminatory immigration practices, but not those of a temporary nature issued in the interest of national security. This order is not racially motivated, and contrary to the view of some, it does not constitute a “Muslim ban” either. The facts simply do not support this moniker. Forty-seven nations contain a population where Islam is the majority religion, and the revised order only affects six. Furthermore, the six countries singled out for the restriction were identified as “countries of concern” by the Obama Administration in 2016. I support the President’s effort to thoroughly review its vetting processes for those who attempt to enter our nation from war-torn lands that are known sources of terror in today’s landscape. This is essential to keeping our homeland safe from radical Islamic terrorism.
I remain concerned, however, that this order does not go far enough to address the plight of Christians or other religious minorities in the Middle East that were designated as victims of genocide by the Obama Administration. Upon review of its policies, it is my sincere hope that the Trump Administration will give priority status to these groups in refugee and asylum cases. I offered a legislative proposal to address this problem in certain countries when I introduced H.R. 565, the Save Christians from Genocide Act, on January 13, 2017. If enacted, this bill would recognize that Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Libya are targets of genocide and direct DHS to grant them first priority in the consideration of refugee and immigrant applications.
Again, thank you for giving me the benefit of your views. Please continue to keep me informed on any federal issue of importance to you.