Friday night, President Trump signed an executive order to suspend the entry of several Muslim populous countries. The list includes countries such as Sudan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, and Yemen.
Kellyanne Conway, advisor to President Donald Trump told “Fox News Sunday” that the ban is not a Muslim ban, despite what some networks have said.
"These seven countries -- what about the 46 majority Muslim countries that are not included? Right there, it totally undercuts this nonsense that this is a Muslim ban," Conway said on "Fox News Sunday." "This is a ban on prospective travel from countries, trying to prevent terrorists in this country, from countries that have a recent history of training and exporting and harboring terrorists."
What does the executive order say and what to expect?
- It will place a 90-day temporary ban on entry to the U.S. from the seven countries listed by the intelligence agency, who have reported the countries to have been overrun by radical Islamic governments.
- Suspends the admission of all refugees from any country for 120 days.
-The order bars admittance of Syrian refugees indefinitely until further notice.
- The program will be capped at 50,000 refugees for 2017, as opposed to 110,000 limit set by Barack Obama for 2016.
Can President Trump legally restrict entry of aliens into the United States?
Yes, President Trump can legally temporarily ban entry from specified Muslim-majority countries. The Federal immigration law includes Section 1182(f), which states:
“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 1182(f) allows the president to issue temporary bans on the entry of classes of aliens for national-security purposes, not for racial or discrimination purposes. Trump cites Section 1182(f), and his executive order says the entry of aliens “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Why did the Trump administration omit countries where he has business ties?
Media outlets are spreading the news that Trump purposely omitted countries, but that is not the case. The Trump administration did not pick the countries, the Obama administration came up with the list of countries.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, denied the allegation of ordering a Muslim ban and confirmed the list derived from the Obama administration.
"The Obama administration put these first and foremost and said that these countries need to have further travel restrictions based on the intelligence that we have," Spicer said. "Those were identified by the previous administration. There were further travel restrictions already in place from those seven countries.
"What the president did was take the first step through this executive order of ensuring that we're looking at the entire system of who's coming in, refugees that are coming in, people who are coming in from places that have a history or that our intelligence suggests that we need to have further extreme vetting for.”
Spicer clarified the refugee ban with Martha Raddatz Sunday morning.
RADDATZ: OK. The executive order also stipulates that after the refugee program is reinstated in 120 days, the government will prioritize religious minorities persecuted in their country. How will you determine what religion people are? How do you vet them?
SPICER: During this 120-day period, we're going to put a system in place that looks country by country, group by group, and make sure we put appropriate vetting in place. Again --
RADDATZ: A religious test?
SPICER: Hold on, no. What we're going to do is make sure that people who have been persecuted for either religious or other reasons have an opportunity to apply and go through a vetting system that ensures they're coming to this country to asylum, to seek a new life for themselves or their family, but to do so with peaceful purposes.”
Both planned and successful terrorist attacks have been increasing dramatically since 2015. It's important that the Trump administration review all current border-control and immigration policies.