The Texas Attorney General is leading a coalition of 15 states defending President Donald Trump’s revised immigration order of March 6.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi have joined the Lone Star State in urging that President Trump acted within the power given him by Congress.
Texas AG Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief on behalf of these states on Monday. The brief recites the constitutional and federal statutory provisions that give President Trump the authority to issue the revised immigration order.
The appeal in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.
An Obama nominee to the federal district bench in Hawaii blocked the implementation of President Trump’s second executive order which temporarily barred travel to the U.S. for refugees and immigrants from six Muslim countries: Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
The executive order was revised to address the claims that it was a “religious test.” Trump called the executive order a “watered down” version.
Judge Derrick Kahala Watson called the executive order “fundamentally flawed.” He issued a block that purports to apply nationwide.
As reported by Breitbart News, President Trump fumed about the activist judge who halted his order limiting immigration from these countries. He told a large crowd gathered for a political rally in Nashville, “The best way to keep foreign terrorists or, as some people would say, in certain instances, radical Islamic terrorists, from attacking our country, is to stop them from entering our country in the first place.” The president also said that the ruling “makes us look weak.” He read the text of the immigration law that gives a president the authority to suspend immigration when he or she deems it necessary.
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit based in San Francisco affirmed the ruling that blocked the original order.
“The president’s revised immigration order is constitutional, lawful, addresses the 9th Circuit’s concerns and is a vital step in securing our borders,” Attorney General Paxton said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “A temporary pause in the national refugee program will give the government time to review and determine how we can improve the screening process for foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. from six countries designated as ‘countries of concern.’ President Trump’s revised immigration order is necessary to protect the homeland from those who wish us harm.”
The brief states that the President acted under the power expressly delegated by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Moreover, neither the Establishment Clause nor the Fifth Amendment applies to “nonresident aliens abroad seeking entry into the United States.” The states urge that the executive order reflects national security concerns and classify aliens by nationality and is not a pretext for religious discrimination.
The lawsuit is one of three in the federal courts.
A Maryland judge, another Obama nominee, blocked the order as it related to banning travel. The ruling of the jurist, Judge Theodore Chuang, created controversy and raised valid questions about whether he should have removed himself from deciding the case. Judge Chuang served as deputy general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2014.
A judge in Virginia found that the President’s issuance of the executive order was within the power given him in the U.S. Constitution.