Let me make it clear, without any specific authorisation from congress, Trump’s government cannot discriminate based on religion, nationality or place of residence, which is exactly what Trump ordered.
Trump supporters continue to point to an earlier law, adopted in 1952, that allows the president to “suspend the entry” of “any class of aliens” that he finds are detrimental to the interest of the United States. But from our research, we can confirm, that the law that Trump’s supporters refer to was superseded by a 1965 statute. Besides this fact, the 1952 law does not allow the president to remove those who are lawfully present (such as visa holders at airports).
Furthermore, without question, Trump’s order unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of religion. Under the 1st Amendment, the government does not have the power to favour one religion over others. Although Trump’s executive order does not expressly exclude Muslims, that is obviously its purpose and its effect as it bars entry to individuals from predominantly Muslim countries. It also instructs Homeland Security, after the 120-day period, to prioritise refugee claims “made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”
What does that mean exactly?
The fact is Trump has told news channels in the USA and abroad to prioritise Christian refugees – over and above all other faiths.
Two key facts stick out –
1. The American Constitution does not allow such religious discrimination or permit the government to assume that a person is more likely to be dangerous because of his or her religion, national origin or race.
2. No refugee has ever been convicted of terrorist offence – therefore rendering Trump’s argument a complete and utter lie.
The most astounding aspect of Trump’s executive order is that the seven countries that he has banned from America, in none of them does he actually have any business interests, unlike nearby nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others, where the Trump organisation seems to be very much alive.
Hey, but don’t just blame Trump for putting economic interests before humanity, to the contrary our own Prime Minister’s unwillingness to condemn the American inhumane policy due to the economic interests of the UK is equally abhorrent.
Moreover, what makes this executive order even more idiotic (no disrespect intended) is that foreigners from the 7 countries that have been listed, killed exactly ZERO Americans in terrorist’s attacks on US soil between 1975 and 2015 according to the Cato Institute. Whilst on the other hand Americans have killed citizens in other countries in the name of war or peace building in some of those 7 countries. Moreover, none of the terrorists that did commit atrocities on American soil have had their home countries banned.
Whilst charities like ours will do everything in our power to hold this Government to account for putting capitalism and UK economic interests in front of human life. We live in the knowledge that in the civilised world sacking attorney generals does not even allow Presidents to circumvent the constitution, and if Trump does not reverse these unlawful orders, we look forward to either the congress or supreme courts stepping in.
Nadeem Murtuja, Chair of JUST Yorkshire