All posts tagged: Immigration


U.S. Immigration Policy And President Obama’s Executive Order For Deferred Action

Both my parents were immigrants. I grew up in a working class suburb of Detroit where every family seemed to include at least one parent or grandparent who was an immigrant, from places all over the world including Mexico, Syria, and Iraq. So of course I admire and respect immigrants, as we all should, because every American is either an immigrant or the descendent of ancestors who came here from somewhere else. And we are told that even includes Native Americans. Whether we should admire and respect immigrants is not what the immigration controversy is really about. Given that we should admire and respect immigrants, the question at the heart of the controversy is, how many should we take? And specifically, should we accept everyone in the world who wants to come to the United States to live and work? Or alternatively, should we try to enforce a numerical limit on how many immigrants we accept every year? That is a binary choice, either no limits, or an enforced limit. And it is a hard choice, …

Jan Ting Immigration Proposal

Law Professors: Trump’s Muslim Moratorium Is Constitutional

Prof. Jan Ting was one of two law professors to talk with The Daily Caller about Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent Muslim immigration proposal. Ting explained that the Supreme Court’s decisions since ruling unanimously in favor of the legality of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1889 have upheld the authority of the political branches — executive and legislative — to make immigration law as they see fit and to exclude foreigners on grounds that would not be applicable to American citizens. Read the full story. 

Donald Trump

Court Rulings Support Trump’s Muslim Immigration Plan

The hysterical response to Donald Trump’s proposal to restrict Muslim immigration is unwarranted. Contrary to the claims of Trump’s critics, the power to suspend the admission of “any aliens or any class of aliens into the United States” is expressly reserved by statute to the president whenever the president finds that such admission “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Candidate Trump is telling us that President Obama should use this power, and that a President Trump would. Despite vigorous assertions by talking heads that suspending the admission of Muslim immigrants would be unconstitutional, prior Supreme Court opinions clearly suggest that courts would reject constitutional challenges to any president’s proposed suspension of Muslim admission into the United States in accordance with U.S. law. In the leading case of Fiallo v. Bell, the Supreme Court in 1977 noted, “Our cases ‘have long recognized the power to expel or exclude aliens as a fundamental sovereign attribute exercised by the government’s political departments largely immune from judicial control.’” In upholding the authority of the government …

Donald Trump

Trump’s Anti-Muslim Plan Is Awful. And Constitutional.

Donald J. Trump’s reprehensible call to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States tracks an exam question I’ve been giving my immigration law students since Sept. 11. Would such a proposal be constitutional? The answer is not what you might think — but it also raises the issue of what, exactly, we mean when we say something is “constitutional” in the first place. In the ordinary, non-immigration world of constitutional law, the Trump scheme would be blatantly unconstitutional, a clear violation of both equal protection and religious freedom (he had originally called for barring American Muslims living abroad from re-entering the country as well; he has since dropped that clearly unconstitutional notion). But under a line of rulings from the Supreme Court dating back more than a century, that’s irrelevant. As the court observed in its 1977 decision in Fiallo v. Bell, “In the exercise of its broad power over immigration and naturalization, Congress regularly makes rules that would be unacceptable if applied to citizens.” The court has given the political branches the judicial …

Refugees at Train Station

History, Hysteria, and Syrian Refugees

A week after the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, American political hysteria is on full display. On Thursday, the House voted to tighten screening procedures on Syrian refugees; never mind that the extraordinarily rigorous background checks already in place make it more difficult to come to the United States as a refugee than through any other immigration status. This is legislation unmoored not only from facts but also from the lessons of history. The Facts The “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015” adds layers of unnecessary bureaucracy onto the existing security checks applied to all refugees entering the United States. Applicable only to Iraqi and Syrian nationals or residents who left after March 1, 2011, the bill requires that the FBI Director certify to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence that such refugees have undergone sufficient background investigation to determine that they are not a security threat to the US. If both Directors are in agreement, the DHS Secretary must certify this finding to 12 congressional committees before …