Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney discussed President Trump’s revised immigration order with SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily.
Kassam asked if it was a good idea for Trump to drop Iraq from the original list of seven affected nations.
“The key question is – and it was, unfortunately, I believe, quite seriously mutated in the course of the first go-round with the executive order – does the President of the United States have, by his constitutional authority, as well as by statute, the authority to prevent from coming to this country for any number of reasons – whether it’s from Iraq, or whether it’s from Syria, or whether it’s from anyplace else. Does he have that authority?” Gaffney asked.
“I think that the clear reading of the texts says he does. The Ninth Circuit says he doesn’t. So he changed this executive order in a couple of ways to try to make the case that was put forward by first, a judge in Washington State and then, the Ninth Circuit, less compelling. I don’t think it was very compelling to begin with,” he said.
“But I do worry, I just have to say, that by taking Iraq off the list – understanding that it is a country that we’re engaged in, that we’ve got some friends there, we’ve got translators trying to get out of and the like – all of that, it seems to me, is manageable on a case-by-case basis,” he added.
“But the bigger problem is that if the president does not have this authority – or worse, if, as the Ninth Circuit found, that everybody who wants to come here has some right to due process in our government – this is a formula for absolute disaster, and I think real security threats to our nation,” Gaffney warned.
“So is it important that he reasserted his authority? It is. Did some of the changes that he made, including the ones that you’ve mentioned, trouble me? They do. I think most of them are acceptable, but the main point is, we must see the president’s authority reaffirmed. I hope that will be the upshot of all this,” he said.
Kassam suggested President Trump’s opponents prefer to keep the argument vague because the more the public considers the details of the immigration order and the situation in the nations it affects, the more they are likely to see the action as reasonable.
Gaffney agreed with this proposition, finding it remarkable that “in the midst of all this, the FBI announces that it has got investigations going on 300 people who have come in as refugees – including, I believe, some from these very countries that the president is trying to exercise some discretion over vetting and making sure that we can do it properly.”
“That must make the case that this is essential to our national security, and I believe that the courts must uphold that principle,” Gaffney contended.
Kassam related a conversation in which his correspondent charged that American authorities are always willing to take stronger action against foreign terrorist threats than domestic terrorism. Gaffney argued that some of this was due to previous administrations’ eagerness to downplay threats from politically sheltered portions of society, such as the Muslim community. He found this understandably confusing for many members of the Muslim community, as they have been receiving decidedly mixed signals from the government about the size and relevance of extremist movements.
“Here’s the point: when you look at the history of the United States government, going back really to the Clinton administration at least, we have indeed been willfully blind about the domestic threat,” Gaffney said.
“It’s not just the violent jihadists that are the problem. It is the folks who are building what Donald Trump – in Youngstown, Ohio, on the 15th of August – described as the networks that foster radicalization within our society. Those networks are brought to us by the Muslim Brotherhood. They are not only being generally ignored. I’m sorry to say, even unto the Trump administration, I believe they still are resident inside the United States government,” he contended.
Gaffney and Kassam named several such networked organizations, including the Muslims of America organization, Tablighi Jamaat, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust.
“We have evidence which was introduced into court back in 2008 that these folks are, in fact, Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney noted. “We’ve got to stop ignoring the threat that’s present from enemies not just foreign, but domestic, as well.”
Kassam noted that legal challenges to the revised executive order have already begun, raising the possibility that it will once again become mired in the courts.
“That certainly is the hope of those attorneys general or ACLU types – or in this case, as I understand it, the suit is being brought at the behest of an Islamist in Hawaii,” Gaffney said. “It’s really clear that the purpose of such folks is to thwart the president, not just in this order, but in exercising the authority we spoke of earlier.”
“At some point, a federal court, and it probably won’t be in Hawaii. It probably won’t be in the Ninth Circuit, which I think would hear any appeal. It’ll have to be the Supreme Court, presumably – will say, wait a minute, there are adults in this mix who are going to say the government of the United States does not have to admit everyone who wants to come here,” Gaffney predicted. “They have no rights to that, let alone to due process that will enable them to exercise that right. The president is vested with the authority to make discrete judgments about this. We have to have him do it, and in most cases in these two executive orders, I think he’s getting it about right.”
“What is the mentality behind these people that think they somehow have the God-given right to just come here, work here – and not just here, frankly, in Europe, anywhere else – as if nations don’t exist?” Kassam asked.
“Well, as you know from firsthand experience, what this ultimately comes down in the case of what I think of as ‘sharia supremacists’ is that they are entitled to rule the world,” Gaffney answered.
“I think that that’s what you’re seeing in this particular case operating, is that they’re getting help from, as they often do, the Left and in some cases those in government, to propound this idea that they have the right to come here; they have the right to dominate, in fact,” he said of the Hawaii suit against President Trump’s executive order.
“It’s lunatics who are, I believe, making these kinds of arguments in many cases, but to the extent that there are serious people behind it, they’re seriously mistaken,” he said.
“We must stand up as a nation for the Constitution of this country. All of those government officials, by the way, swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. In this case, I think if they turn this blind eye to the sharia supremacists and their agenda, they’re not doing their duty. In fact, they’re violating their oath of office,” he charged.
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