Prof. John Banzhaf: Donald Trump’s Muslim Immigration Freeze ‘Certainly Not Unconstitutional’

Jim Young/Reuters
Jim Young/Reuters

Professor John Banzhaf of George Washington University appeared on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon to discuss presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration – a proposal Banzhaf analyzed and found to be consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

Banzhaf said his analysis is “consistent with that of most people who know constitutional law.”

“What’s happening is, people are overreacting. They hear the word ‘profiling.’ Profiling is automatically wrong; it’s unconstitutional. In many cases, racial profiling or nationalistic profiling is illegal,” he said.

“But in the case of preventing terrorism, or border crossings, the Supreme Court has said that profiling, properly done, can be constitutional if it meets two requirements,” Banzhaf stated, adding:

Number one is, it is used to deal with an important governmental problem, which terrorism obviously is. Secondly, if it is only one of several factors. That, by the way, is how we have racial discrimination in terms of admitting people to our colleges. We call it “affirmative action.” It is racial profiling, which is permitted because it is only one of several factors.

Banzhaf blamed sensationalistic media coverage for creating an environment in which “people are not thinking logically.”

“They react to labels. Profiling: bad. Racial profiling: even worse,” he said. “It’s also been said to be ‘un-American,’ yet it turns out Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Peter King, even Hillary Clinton herself said, yes, in certain instances, we have to do profiling.” He continued by saying, “Not too long ago, Barack Obama and one of our leading senators both said New York Police Department’s Ray Kelly would make a great secretary of Homeland Security, yet he’s very well-known for concentrating his anti-terrorist resources in the Muslim community.”

“So it’s hard to say it’s un-American. It’s certainly not unconstitutional, in terms of bringing people into the country; we’ve had a history of it,” Banzhaf recalled, citing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the 1924 Immigration Act.

To illustrate the absurdity of a security system without any “profiling” at all, Banzhaf pointed to the Transportation Security Agency, which assumes that the “risk posed by an elderly Asian female, for example, is exactly equal to that posed by a young Arabic or Muslim male.”

“It obviously is not. We should be concentrating our searches in areas where we’re more likely to find terrorists – rather than, out of excessive P.C., treating everybody exactly equal,” he advised.

“That’s what we do in other areas,” Banzhaf observed, and added:

You know, men sometimes get breast cancer. Young women get breast cancer. But when we look for breast cancer, we look in older women. If we’re looking for Tay-Sachs disease, we look for it in Jewish immigrants. If we’re concerned about finding sickle-cell anemia, we concentrate in blacks. It’s only common sense. The whole mathematics which has developed around this, we’re totally ignoring it.

Professor Banzhaf has his own website,, and is also active on Twitter as @ProfBanzhaf.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.




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