Muslim Immigration Ban

Throughout his campaign Trump declared his intent to enact a comprehensive ban on Muslims entering the country. In a press release dated Dec. 7, 2015, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." On Jan. 26, 2017, he signed an executive order that halted all immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan.

See also Muslim Registry and Muslims.

Timeline


2017.01.30 The Council on American‐Islamic Relations files a lawsuit against Trump, John Kelly, U.S. Department of State, and the Director of National Intelligence claiming the travel ban violates the first amendment of the constitution, which establishes the right to freedom of religion.

Assessments

David J. Bier — The New York Times

In his Jan. 27, 2017, article Bier points out that Trump's executive order halting immigration for 90 days violates a law in place for over fifty years:

"President Trump signed an executive order on Friday that purports to bar for at least 90 days almost all permanent immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syria and Iraq, and asserts the power to extend the ban indefinitely. But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin."

Benjamin Wittes — Lawfare

In his Jan. 28, 2017, article Wittes destroys Trump's executive order halting immigration:

The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.

NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)

This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.

Catherine Rampell–The Washington Post

On Jan. 30, 2017, Rampell asks where the red line is for Republicans in Congress:

A mere year ago, Republican leaders condemned Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) said it was “not conservatism.” Then-Gov. Mike Pence (Ind.) called it “offensive and unconstitutional.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) called it “completely and totally inconsistent with American values.” Senator and then-presidential-candidate Marco Rubio (Fla.) agreed, saying, “It violates a lot of the things that we think about our country.”

There you have it: Then, Trump’s proposed Muslim ban was decried as not conservative, not constitutional, not American. If there were ever a red line for Republicans, it seems to have been crossed Friday. 

When a version of the ban became reality, however, Ryan endorsed it. Now-Vice President Pence smiled and applauded as it was signed. McConnell said he doesn’t “want to criticize [the Trump administration] for improving vetting.” And Rubio offered some cowardly pablum about needing “clarity” on “unanswered questions” about the ban.