TRAVEL AND REFUGEE BAN:
Trump administration lawyers argue case that appears headed to U.S. Supreme Court
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 .