Judges in Hawaii and Maryland have issued injunctions against President Trump’s suspension of travel and refugee settlement from six majority Muslim countries, finding that the order likely violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause by discriminating against Muslims. Among the errors made by the judges: ignoring the law that gives the President the authority to make these determinations, ignoring Supreme Court precedents that affirm the President’s authority in these matters, trying to judge the perceived intent of the order rather than simply reading its plain language, and ignoring the evidence of a real national security threat presented by the revised executive order. And there is this huge error, notes Hans von Spakovsky:
“[Judge] Chuang [of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland] actually does discuss §1182(f), but he then claims that applying that section against immigrants, as opposed to alien visitors, violates another provision of federal immigration law, 8 U.S.C. §1152(a)(1)(A). This provision prohibits discrimination ‘in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of his race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place or residence.’
“Chuang dismisses the government’s argument that another provision of that same law—which specifically says that nothing in §1152 (a) ‘shall be construed to limit the authority of the secretary of state to determine the procedures for the processing immigrant of visa applications’—doesn’t apply to Trump’s action.
“Why? Because Trump is not the secretary of state, and this provision ‘expressly applies to the secretary of state.’
“This is a bizarre conclusion. The president does not process visa applications himself. That is the State Department’s job, and the secretary of state is answerable directly to the president.
“A provision of federal law such as this one that gives the secretary of state the authority ‘to determine the procedures’ for alien visas is obviously authority that the president can direct the secretary to exercise.”