A federal judge has slapped down a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s popular immigration reforms that was brought by radical Islamic activists, marking a political defeat for the diversity alliance which opposes Trump’s update of immigration priorities.
“The core substantive issue of law, as to which Plaintiffs must establish a clear likelihood of success, is whether [Trump’s Executive order] falls within the bounds of the President’s statutory authority or whether the President has exercised that authority in violation of constitutional restraints,” said the Alexandria, Virginia-based judge, Anthony Trenga.
“[T]he substantive revisions reflected in EO-2 have reduced the probative value of the President’s statements to the point that it is no longer likely that Plaintiffs can succeed on their claim that the predominate purpose of EO-2 is to discriminate against Muslims based on their religion and that EO-2 is a pretext or a sham for that purpose,” said Trenga, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The decision makes no practical legal difference because the popular policies are already being blocked by progressive judges in Hawaii, Maryland and California. These judges are using a variety of unprecedented legal arguments to claim that judges have a new constitutional authority to set immigration policy, regardless of the laws which have given that power to the elected president and the Congress-funded national security, border and intelligence agencies.
This is Trump’s second courtroom win on the issue, following a favorable decision made by a Boston judge on February 3.
However, the March 24 legal victory is also a political win for Trump as he tries to update U.S. immigration rules to counter the threat posed by a diverse alliance of Islamic political groups, progressive open-borders factions and business groups seeking additional cheap labor and welfare-funded consumers.
The lawsuit was brought by Linda Sarsour, a radical Islamic anti-Israel activist in New York. She appears to support Islam’s totalitarian sharia law, and she displays great hostility to critics of Islam’s ideology. She can still appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, but it is already preparing to rule on a similar case decided by a Maryland judge.
The other plaintiffs include several Islamic advocates and Nihad Awad, the director of a radical Islamist group, the Council for American-Islamic Relations.
Breitbart has frequently noted that the CAIR group is so closely entwined with Islamists and with jihadis that court documents and news reports show that at least five of its people — either board members, employees, or former employees — have been jailed or repatriated for various financial and terror-related offenses.
CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation. Breitbart has also published evidence highlighted by critics showing that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Texas-based criminal effort to deliver $12 million to the Jew-hating HAMAS jihad group, that CAIR was founded with $490,000 from HAMAS, and that the FBI bans top-level meetings with CAIR officials. “The FBI policy restricting a formal relationship with CAIR remains … [but] does not preclude communication regarding investigative activity or allegations of civil rights violations,” said an October 2015 email from FBI spokesman Christopher Allen.
The Islamists’ lawsuit illustrates the leading role being played by Islamic political groups in the campaign against Trump’s popular Executive Orders, which are intended to exclude individuals with “hostile attitudes” towards American law and culture. For example, Trump’s first January 27 Executive Order declared:
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
That first Executive Order, signed January 27 and numbered E.O. 13769, was titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” After the hostile judgments, Trump withdrew the order and issued a second order, which was the target of the Sarsour lawsuit.
Trump’s language is very different from the language used by former President Barack Obama, who frequently derided Americans for getting “attached to our particular tribe.”
The “hostile attitudes” language is legally muffled in the second version of the document, the March 6 E.O. 13780, which is also titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”
Nonetheless, State Department officials are adopting new practices that reflect the president’s focus on protecting the nation’s peace and culture.
The legal authority for Trump’s Executive Orders is found in Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, gives the President near-complete power over who gets into the United States, according to a January 2017 report by Congress’ Congressional Research Service. The critical language declares, at 8 U.S.C. § 1182 (f), that:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate Section 214(a)(1) of the same law says that the “admission of any alien to the United States as a nonimmigrant shall be for such time and under such conditions as [the Executive] may by regulations prescribe.”
The President’s authority over immigration is bolstered by Supreme Court decisions. For example, the court declared in its 1950 judgment, titled Knauff v. Shaughnessy, that “It is not within the province of any court, unless expressly authorized by [congressional] law, to review the determination of the political branch of Government to exclude a given alien.”
In 2015, the Court reasserted that judgment, saying in Kerry v. Din, that:
Din attempts to bring suit on [her Afghan husband’s] behalf, alleging that the Government’s denial of her husband’s visa application violated her constitutional rights… In particular, she claims that the Government denied her due process of law when, without adequate explanation of the reason for the visa denial, it deprived her of her constitutional right to live in the United States with her spouse. There is no such constitutional right.
Already, the law and the Supreme Court’s rulings prompted a judge in Boston, Mass., to reject another lawsuit the Massachusetts’ government against Trump’s E.O. “Therefore, in light of the ‘plenary congressional power to make policies and rules for exclusion of aliens,’ … which pursuant to8 U.S.C. § 1182(f), has been delegated to the President, the Court concludes that the [federal] government’s reasons, as provided in the EO, are facially legitimate and bona fide,” the judge declared February 3.