Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion lawyers ar­gue case that ap­pears headed to U.S. Supreme Court

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - BY MAURA DOLAN

WASH­ING­TON — In a bid to win re­in­state­ment of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­tro­ver­sial ban on im­mi­grants from sev­eral Mus­lim coun­tries, gov­ern­ment lawyers Mon­day ar­gued that the pres­i­dent has broad author­ity to ex­clude “aliens,” who they said have few con­sti­tu­tional rights in the U.S.

In pa­pers filed Mon­day af­ter­noon, the Jus­tice Depart­ment de­scribed a fed­eral judge’s re­strain­ing or­der block­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the im­mi­gra­tion di­rec­tive as a “sweep­ing, na­tion­wide in­junc­tion” that is “vastly over­broad.”

“An alien out­side the United States has no right to a ju­di­cial review of a de­nial of a visit,” gov­ern­ment at­tor­neys ar­gued.

The ex­clu­sion of cit­i­zens of other coun­tries from the U.S. is a “fun­da­men­tal act of sovereignty” in­her­ent in the pres­i­dent’s ex­ec­u­tive power to con­trol the na­tion’s for­eign af­fairs,” the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.

The 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals has sched­uled a tele­phone hear­ing in the case for Tues­day af­ter­noon and could rule after that.

The ap­peals court is ac­cept­ing le­gal ar­gu­ments on whether it should stay a rul­ing Fri­day from a fed­eral judge in Seat­tle that blocked en­force­ment of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Jan. 27 ex­ec­u­tive or­der, which sus­pends en­try to im­mi­grants from Syria, Iraq, Su­dan, Iran, Ye­men, So­ma­lia and Libya, and also sus­pends re­set­tle­ment of refugees in the U.S.

The or­der ap­pro­pri­ately tar­geted the seven na­tions be­cause they are “associated with a height­ened risk of ter­ror­ism,” the ad­min­is­tra­tion said in its brief.

In ear­lier writ­ten ar­gu­ments, lawyers for the states of Wash­ing­ton and Min­nesota ar­gued that a tem­po­rary hold on Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der should re­main in place un­til a lower court de­ter­mines whether the or­der is un­con­sti­tu­tional.

The state of Wash­ing­ton cited a litany of prob­lems caused by Trump’s or­der. More than 7,000 nonci­t­i­zen im­mi­grants from the af­fected coun­tries live in Wash­ing­ton, the state told the ap­peals court.

“Those who were abroad were blocked from re­turn­ing home,” the states ar­gued. “Hus­bands were sep­a­rated from wives, brothers from sis­ters, and par­ents from their chil­dren. Some who had waited decades to see fam­ily mem­bers had that re­union taken away without warn­ing or rea­son.”

Nearly 100 busi­nesses, in­clud­ing well-known technology firms such as Ap­ple, Google, Twit­ter and Uber, filed ar­gu­ments sup­port­ing the states’ case. The com­pa­nies ar­gued that the ban was dis­rup­tive, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for them to re­cruit and re­tain em­ploy­ees and threat­en­ing their abil­ity to at­tract tal­ent, busi­ness and in­vest­ment to the United States.

A num­ber of for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity and in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials — in­clud­ing for­mer Sec­re­taries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Al­bright, for­mer De­fense Sec­re­tary and CIA di­rec­tor Leon E. Panetta, and ex-na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Su­san Rice — also sided with the states.

In a dec­la­ra­tion, they ar­gued that the Trump or­der “could do longterm dam­age to our na­tional se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy in­ter­ests, en­dan­ger­ing U.S. troops in the field and dis­rupt­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism and na­tional se­cu­rity part­ner­ships.”

They said the ban on im­mi­gra­tion from tar­geted coun­tries could boost the mil­i­tant group Is­lamic State’s pro­pa­ganda and re­cruit­ment “by feed­ing into the nar­ra­tive that the United States is at war with Is­lam.”


Roodo Ab­dishakur, left, hugs her mother Zahra Warsma after ar­riv­ing from So­ma­lia at Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port .

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