From the impoverished British pilgrims who first established the thirteen colonies to the thousands of modern immigrants admitted annually, the history of the United States of America is one of a nation of diverse immigrants who fled their countries in search of greater freedom and opportunity. In this essay, I will analyze the legislative history, judicial precedent, legal and constitutional questions surrounding the Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project case as well as examine its potential implications.
In this section, I will examine the relevant legal history, judicial precedent, and lower court proceedings in order to establish the framework required to fully understand Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project. In this paragraph, I will discuss the legislative history pertinent to Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). As mentioned previously, the United States of America is a nation of immigrants and immigration policy has always been one of the most contentious political issues.
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The first piece of legislation I will discuss is the Naturalization Act of 1790 which established the laws governing the granting of national citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1790 is pertinent to Trump vs. IRAP because it was the first act of legislation to restrict immigration by limiting the ability of immigrants to become citizens. This act was eventually followed by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which effectively ended all Chinese immigration by prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers.
This act is pertinent to Trump vs. IRAP because it was the first U.S. immigration law implemented to prevent a specific group from immigrating to the United States. These pieces of immigration legislation eventually culminated into the Emergency Quota Act which was a series of laws that restricted immigration based off of nationality. What distinguished the Emergency Quota Act from previous immigration legislation and makes it pertinent to Trump vs.
IRAP, was that it added two new features to American immigration law: numerical limits on immigration and the use of a quota system for establishing those limits. Finally, the last piece of immigration legislation we will examine is the Real ID Act of 2005 which modified existing U.S. federal law by establishing new federal standards for state-issued identification cards, improving border security, limiting asylum applications, and updating laws on the deportation of aliens for terrorism. This act is important to Trump vs.
IRAP because it massively expands the federal government’s power by allowing them to bar states from issuing a Real ID to any non-citizen who cannot prove that they are legal immigrants through verified documentary evidence. It was an example of the Congress giving the federal government the power to waive aspects of state law when it comes to border security and identification which used to be the purview of states. Understanding the details and significance of these immigration laws is essential to comprehending Trump vs. IRAP because some of the key Constitutional questions in the Supreme Court case require a comprehension of the legislative history.In this paragraph, I will examine the case background as well as discuss the lower court proceedings that led up to Trump vs.
IRAP. Throughout his presidential campaign, President Trump and his associates repeatedly promised the American people a “Muslim ban” on immigration. While President Trump and his associates walked back those assertions, those comments nevertheless heavily impacted the public discussion on the President’s immigration policy. Once in office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13,769 which suspended immigration for 90 days from seven countries identified as having heightened terrorism-related risks. This Executive Order was received with massive nationwide protests and condemnations from liberal and conservative intellectuals who called the immigration restriction policy a poorly veiled attempt at banning the entry of Muslims into the United States. This backlash eventually resulted in State of Washington v. Trump where the state of Washington filed a suit asserting that the Executive Order was unconstitutional because of violations to the Establishment Clause and the Fifth Amendment. On this case, the 9th Circuit district court found the Executive Order to be religiously discriminatory and issued a nationwide temporary restraining order which forbade the federal government from enforcing certain provisions of the order.
After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their appeal for a stay of the nationwide temporary restraining order, the Trump Administration retracted the Executive Order for a revised version of the ban that would supersede the previous Executive Order. President Trump issued Executive Order 13,780 which placed limits on travel to the U.S. from certain countries, and by all refugees who did not possess either a visa or valid travel documents. This Executive Order was immediately challenged by the two lower district courts. In the federal district court of Hawaii, plaintiffs claimed that Hawaii had an express interest in protecting “its residents, its employers, its educational institutions, and its sovereignty against illegal actions of President Donald J. Trump.” They argued that this Executive Order was tearing apart families and wounding Hawaii’s economic institutions which was a clear identifiable and irreparable injury.
Finally, they argued that this Executive Order violated the Establishment Clause, the Fifth Amendment clause for equal protection and due process, and the Immigration and Nationality Act. In response, the government argued that the Constitution grants the President of the United States “unreviewable authority” over immigration matters and that the non-citizens the executive order effects do not have due process rights. Similarly, these same arguments played out in the federal district court of Maryland where the International Refugee Assistance Project argued that the Executive Order violated the first and fifth Constitutional amendments by discriminating against Muslims with its immigration policy. However, in addition, they argued that the Executive Order constituted an overstepping of presidential authority because it overrode Congressional immigration legislation. The Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts respectively issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the government from enforcing Section 2 and Section 6 against any foreign national seeking entry to the United States. In response, the Presidential administration filed a petition of certiorari to the Supreme Court for the two cases which, when consolidated into one case, became collectively known as Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project.
In this section, I will examine the key constitutional questions concerning the extent of and the interplay between the executive, legislative, and judicial authority as explored in Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project. In this paragraph, I will examine the constitutional question of whether or not the judicial branch has the authority to examine the constitutionality of Executive policies regarding immigration. The presidential administration argued that these challenges aren’t justiciable because the legal precedent is that federal courts generally can’t examine the constitutionality of policies and legislation regarding immigration exclusion. Furthermore, they argue that while federal courts are only permitted limited review when the exclusion of an alien violates a U.S. citizen constitutional rights and that IRAP never asserts any clearly identifiable violation of a U.
S. citizens constitutional rights. In response, IRAP argued that “the discrimination against a religion or the favoritism of a religion above others, whether it be expressly or implicitly, sends a message of disparagement which causes injuries on members of the excluded faiths that are sufficiently real and concrete to establish Article III standing”.
Furthermore, they assert that the Executive Order was deliberately designed in order to target and isolate Muslims as evidenced by Trump’s Muslim Ban comments and the disproportionate effect on Muslim immigrants. By implicitly singling out their religions, visa petitions, and relatives, the Executive Order “injected uncertainty into their family relationships and life decisions”. Finally, IRAP argues that because these injuries are clearly identifiable and irreparable, the plaintiffs ability to sue is well established and the case is justiciable. In this paragraph, I will examine the constitutional question of whether or not the Executive Branch has the authority to override Congressional legislation related to immigration. The presidential administration argued that the Congress had expressly given the President the authority to suspend or prescribe limitations to the entry of aliens whom he believes are harmful to the U.S.
‘s security interests. Furthermore, the presidential administration argued that even if the Supreme Court did not acknowledge this Congressionally granted authority, the Executive Order does not in any way exceed statutory authority. They asserted that there was no violation of the U.S. Code 1157 because the law only establishes a procedure for setting the maximum number of refugees who may be admitted annually, not for the minimum number of refugees who must be admitted annually. Furthermore, the national government argued that the U.S.
Code’s ban on nationality-based discrimination/preference in the issuance of immigrant visas was not violated because the Executive Order restrictions are not based on nationality, but rather the independent but related issue of the terrorism risk associated with those countries. On the other hand, IRAP argues that the Supreme Court’s previous recognition of the immense danger “. . . posed by subjecting national policy decisions to the arbitrary actions of one person” is applicable to immigration. Furthermore, the limitations to Executive immigration authority established by Zemel v. Rusk and Kent v. Dulles prove that Congress did not intend to completely delegate its immigration authority to the Executive Branch.
Therefore, IRAP contends, the Executive Order exceeds the President’s statutory authority because it tries to override the Congress’s 2015 immigration laws that were created as a response to the very same circumstances the Order seeks to address.In this section, I will examine important constitutional questions concerning the applicability of certain legal principles and doctrines in Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project. In this paragraph, I will examine the constitutional question of whether or not Sections 2(c), 6(a), and 6(b) of the Executive Order violate the Establishment Clause. The presidential administration asserted that there was no violation because under the Supreme Court’s precedent with Kleindienst v. Mandel, as long as the president provides “a facially legitimate and bona fide reason”, his restriction of immigration is lawful. In the case of this Executive Order, the President’s national security related reasoning is both “facially legitimate and bona fide” and therefore all Court inquiry should end there. However, even if it doesn’t, the Supreme Court’s legal precedent forbids it from invalidating a President’s “religious neutral action” based off of speculation regarding motives.
On the other hand, IRAP argued that according to Kerry vs. Din, it is appropriate to take into account context when examining a potential violation if the government has made “an affirmative showing of bad faith”. Trump and his administration’s “Muslim ban comments”, his countless xenophobic remarks, and his consistent claims that he has not shifted his position are enough to be considered “an affirmative showing of bad faith”. Furthermore, they contended that even if the Supreme Court examined the Executive Order to try determine if the government had a “facially legitimate and bona fide reason, they would fail. IRAP asserts that the Executive Order has no “bona-fide” purpose other than using nationality as a proxy to ban the entry of Muslims because numerous governmental committees have since concluded that the increased immigration restrictions in the Executive Order would not increase national security.
In this paragraph, I will examine the legal question of whether or not the global injunctions were impermissibly overbroad. According to the Trump Administration, these injunctions are impermissibly overbroad because according to Article III of the Constitution and the legal principles of equity, injunctive relief requires the respondents to have an irreparable, clearly identifiable injury.It also requires that the scope of the injunctive relief be defined as whatever is necessary to compensate for those injuries. The respondents, the presidential administration argued, have failed to show any clearly identifiable injury. Also, even if they did present a clearly identifiable injury, their injury would be fully relieved through a court order authorizing the entry of those specific aliens pertinent to them. On the other hand, IRAP contended that the Executive Order inflicts exclusion, isolation, and stigmatization onto the plaintiffs by creating a discriminatory message of condemnation.
Furthermore, they asserted that the individual authorization of specific aliens would not serve fully relieve their injury as the negative effects of the Executive Order are much more widespread. The only way to provide “complete relief” to IRAP would be to suspend the Executive Order altogether.In this paragraph, we will examine the legal question of whether or not this case should be considered moot, or no longer a live controversy. The reason why there even is a question of mootness is because Section 2(c) of the Executive Order was scheduled to expire before the case had been decided which sparked questions as to whether the case was still a live controversy. In this legal question, both the presidential administration and IRAP argue that that this case is not moot for two main reasons. Firstly, according to City of Mesquite v. Aladdin’s Castle Inc., a case can’t be considered moot where the defendant has shown that they intend to reenact provisions if the injunction was vacated on mootness grounds.
The Memorandum issued by the President where he directs that the Executive Order become effective as soon as the injunction is lifted clearly meets those requirements. Secondly, the government has clearly demonstrated through the Memorandum and ongoing litigation that they will enforce Section 2(c), whether it be under the current or future amended Executive Orders. Therefore, this case remains a live controversy and is not moot. However, where the presidential administration and IRAP differ on this issue is whether or not the Supreme Court should vacate the judgment to the Courts below if mootness is found. This is important because a vacated judgment would make the lower courts injunctions and temporary restraining orders legally void.
The presidential administration argues that the court precedent when a federal civil case has become moot is to vacate the judgement below and order them to dismiss the challenges (United States v. Munsingwear, Inc.). Therefore, with no exception to this general rule applicable, if the Court declares the case moot it should then be vacated to the lower courts. IRAP argues to the contrary, asserting that to vacate a case, the case had to have been dismissed on mootness due to changing circumstances beyond the control of the plaintiff. If the Court’s decides to declare this case moot, that decision can be directly connected to the Executive Order’s provisions and the government’s choice in not litigating to obtain judgment in this Court before June 14. These were circumstances were clearly within the presidential administrations control, so the SCOTUS should not vacate their judgement. In this section, I will discuss the Supreme Court’s rulings and examine the potential implications it has for individual immigrants and the broader international community.
In this paragraph, I will discuss the Supreme Court’s rulings on and the potential effects of the Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project case. In the end, the Supreme Court didn’t give a definitive answer on all of the important constitutional and legal questions discussed in this case.The Supreme Court argued that because the Executive Order expired, the appeals could no longer be considered a “live case or controversy.” Therefore, they vacated the lower court’s judgments and remanded the case to the 4th and 9th Circuit with instructions to dismiss as moot. By legally voiding the lower courts injunctions and temporary restraining orders, this allowed for the Executive Order to go into full effect and limit immigration. It was a clear victory for the Trump administration and a successful defense of the legitimacy of executive authority regarding immigration. This Supreme Court decision allows for Trump’s Executive Order to go into effect which will severely restrict the immigration of refugees that lack visas or valid travel documentation.
This will negatively affect the lives of immigrants and their families throughout the United State as even if the Executive Order is not religiously discriminatory, the perception of its religiously discriminatory nature stigmatizes these individuals and emboldens xenophobics. Furthermore, this Executive Order will provide a negative example for an international community that is currently in the midst of a refugee crisis due to ISIS and the war in Syria. Furthermore, the Executive Order might needlessly sour diplomatic relations with the “banned” countries whose immigration policy the Executive Order essentially accuses of incredibly flawed. Furthermore, the Executive Order pressures them to try and improve their immigration system which nations might take as an affront to their sovereignty. Trump vs. International Refugee Assistance Project was a landmark Supreme Court case for several reasons. Firstly, the Supreme Court decision to lift the preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders due to mootness reinforces the general precedent that the Judicial Branch should avoid infringing on the authority of the Executive and Legislative branch. Simultaneously, it reinforces the Executive Branches authority over immigration policy as Trump’s Executive Order essentially superseded Congressional immigration legislation.
Secondly, Trump vs IRAP is important because of the domestic and international impact that the Executive Order has had. Regardless of whether or not it actually does so, this Executive Order is impactful on a domestic level because of its perception of being religiously discriminatory which not only alienates and stigmatizes immigrants but emboldens xenophobes. This Executive order is impactful on an international level because it deteriorates and weakens diplomatic relations with an international community struggling to humanitarianly deal with the refugee crisis. While it is essential to note the significance of this case, it is also important to realize that this case will only be the beginning if President Trump continues to issue Executive Orders restricting immigration. The decisions made by the Supreme Court will help establish the judicial precedent necessary to answer the complex constitutional questions raised in this immigration case.