Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13769 titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.  Among other things the order suspended the US Refugee Admissions Programs for 120 days and indefinitely suspended the entry of refugees from Syria.  In addition alien nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries cannot enter the United States for ninety days, except on a case-by-case basis.  (Green card holders have since been exempted by the Department of Homeland Security.) On February 3, 2017, James Robart, a district judge in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, issued a ruling temporarily blocking significant portions of the executive order.  On March 6, 2017 President Trump issued Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which limits travel to the US from six countries, and by all refugees who do not possess either a visa or valid travel documents.  On March 16, 2017 Executive Order 13780 will revoke and replace Executive Order 13769.

In the articles and interviews that follow, Hoover fellows delve into the policy considerations underlying the executive order, the manner in which it was implemented, and ultimately the legal and constitutional issues.


Stanford Scholars Analyze Trump’s Revised Executive Order on Immigration
interview with Michael McConnell and Terry Moe via Stanford News, March 7, 2017

Hoover Institution fellows Michael McConnell and Terry Moe analyze Trump’s revised executive order on immigration.

The Spotlight Will Now Shift to the White House Counsel
by Jack Goldsmith via Lawfare, February 14, 2017

I was pretty hard on White House Counsel Donald McGahn in connection with the horrible roll-out of the Trump Executive Order on immigration, and his inability or disinclination to control the President’s self-destructive attack on courts.

Why the Ninth Circuit Was Right to Put Trump’s Executive Order on Hold
by Richard Epstein via Ricochet, February 9, 2017

The Wall Street Journal today published an editorial, “Trump’s Judicial Debacle,” which takes a divided position on President Trump’s notorious Executive Order that has three key components. It first attacks the entire process as a political debacle and social disaster, which it surely is. But as a rear guard action it thereafter attacks the unanimous opinion of a panel in the Ninth Circuit that shut out the government on appeal. It opines that some genuine risks arise whenever courts trench on the legitimate powers of the Executive and thereby upset the delicate balance of power among the three branches of government.

Trump Needs to Pick Fights He Can Win
by Niall Ferguson via The Boston Globe, February 14, 2017

“Breaking rocks in the hot sun / I fought the law and the law won.” As a teenage punk rocker, I first heard those lines from the hoarse larynx of The Clash’s Joe Strummer. I found out only later that the song was written by the guy who replaced Buddy Holly as front-man of The Crickets. No, I don’t remember his name either.

Trump Can Try To Get Even With The Courts -- Or Get To Work And Start Nominating Judges
by Bill Whalen via Forbes, February 12, 2017

In the aftermath of the judicial roadblock of his immigration executive order, President Trump doesn’t lack for options.

A Flawed Restraining Of A Flawed Order
by Michael McConnell via Defining Ideas, February 10, 2017

Yesterday a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an order and a brief opinion in State of Washington v. Trump, a challenge to the legality of President Trump’s executive order imposing a temporary moratorium on travel visas from seven designated countries – most of them countries racked by civil war and virtual anarchy.  Trump detractors were elated.

A 'City on a Hill' as a Fortress in a Moat
by Abbas Milani, Larry Diamond, and Michael McFaul via The Atlantic, February 3, 2017

The notion that one form of prejudice can defeat another is an illusion. America, born with the aspiration of becoming “a city on a hill,” faces the serious danger of becoming a fortress, deluded in the belief that walls and airport detention rooms will offer security and prosperity.

Does Trump Want to Lose the EO Battle in Court? Or is Donald McGahn Simply Ineffectual (or Worse)?
by Jack Goldsmith via Lawfare, February 6, 2017

I’m starting to believe that either Donald Trump wants courts to strike down the Immigration Executive order, or that his White House Counsel is incompetent or ineffectual.The Immigration EO has a surprisingly strong basis in law but was issued in haste, without proper interagency coordination, without proper notice, without adequate consideration of its implications, and with a media strategy, if it was that, that suggested that the EO was motivated by discrimination against Muslims.

Trump’s Immigration Ban Was Clumsy But He’s Right About Radical Islam
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali via The World Post (Huffington Post), February 2, 2017

I was a Muslim refugee once. I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to gamble your entire future on a one-way ticket to a foreign land, what it’s like to fill in the forms, not knowing for sure what the right answers are. I know what it’s like to fear rejection, deportation and the dangers that await you back home.Yet today I am an American citizen, one who has more reason than most to fear Islamic extremism. And that’s why I want to plead with my fellow Americans to calm down and think rationally about the dilemmas and trade-offs that we face.

Make Haste — Deliberately
by Victor Davis Hanson via National Review, February 7, 2017

If Trump shows that his actions are a reaction to past extremes, his changes will win public support. The emperor Augustus who oversaw the transition from the nonstop civil war of a collapsing republic to the Principate — with all the good and bad that such a transition entailed — was fond of quoting the Greek aphorism “Make haste slowly” 

The Libertarian: Trump's Immigration Controversy
interview with Richard A. Epstein, via The Libertarian Podcast, January 31, 2017

Richard Epstein considers the legal and policy merits of Donald Trump's decision to crack down on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries and to build a border wall with Mexico.

Trump’s Immigration Insanity
by Richard A. Epstein, via Defining Ideas, January 30, 2017

In the past week, President Donald Trump issued three Executive Orders (EOs) dealing with the status of immigrants and refugees in the United States. The first EO announced that it will deny federal funding to any sanctuary city, or city that refuses to cooperate in the deportation of illegal immigrants in the United States. The second EO declared the intention to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico from coming into the United States. 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Donald Trump's Immigration Ban and Counter-Terrorism Strategy on RN Breakfast
interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, via ABC Australia, February 2, 2017

Details of the US government's plans to reshape counter terrorism programs have been leaked to the media.

Tech World Targets Trump’s Executive Order
interview with Kiron Skinner, via Fox Business, February 6, 2017

Hoover Institution fellow Kiron Skinner talks about why nearly 100 technology companies have filed a legal brief condemning President Trump’s travel ban.

What’s at Risk if Trump’s Immigration Order is Blocked?
interview with Kiron Skinner, via Fox Business, February 8, 2017

Hoover Institution fellow Kiron Skinner discusses whether US national security is at risk without the approval of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Trump Challenges The Internationalist Order
by Bruce Thornton, via FrontPage Mag, January 31, 2017

A job begun is half done, as the Romans used to say. Restoring our nation’s pride in its exceptionalism, and keeping our government’s obligation to put our country’s interests and security first, is job number one for the new president. After just one week in office, President Trump has made a good start at dismantling the internationalist order that for nearly a century has tried to weaken and subordinate national sovereignty and identity to globalist institutions.

How Immigrants Have Made America a Leader in Technology Innovation
by John Villasenor, via The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 31, 2017

The vital role of immigrants in American technology innovation is so well documented that it shouldn’t need repeating. But in light of last week’s executive order that blocks access to the United States by citizens of seven countries with a collective population of well over 200 million, a few reminders might be timely.

Rice, Albright Criticize Trump's Executive Order
quoting Condoleezza Rice, via Politico, February 1, 2017

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice characterized the Trump administration's travel ban as “ill-considered and badly delivered" on Wednesday, joining with one of her predecessors, Madeline Albright, in a rare bipartisan critique of the new president's executive order and the effect it will have on foreign relations.