Judges shouldn't control borders

By Mark Krikorian on February 13, 2017

USA Today, January 12, 2017

If the court challenge to President Trump's executive order is ultimately upheld, the American people will have lost the power to control their borders to unelected judges.

A panel of appellate judges from the 9th Circuit (the most aggressively anti-constitutional part of the federal judiciary) objected to the administration's claim that the executive order was unreviewable — i.e., that the judges had no business getting involved in the first place.

The ruling went on at length about previous cases related to foreign policy and immigration, but seemed to have deliberately ignored the main point: Congress has specifically authorized the president, any president, to act as Trump did. The law is explicit and not subject to interpretation: 8 USC 1182 (f) says the president may "suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants," for as long as he wants, if he decides that their admission "would be detrimental to the interests of the United States."

A president can suspend the entry of foreign citizens who are redheads or poker players or cat lovers or even Muslims. He can and should be held responsible for such actions — by Congress and by the voters. But the courts have no business reviewing his reasons.

And no competence, either. U.S. District Judge James Robart, who issued the ruling freezing the executive order, noted during the hearing that it was based on the assertion that "we have to protect the U.S. from these individuals coming from these countries, and there's no support for that."

Actually, there is "support for that" — plenty of it. According to data collected by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, 72 people born in the executive order's seven dangerous countries have been convicted on terrorism-related charges since 9/11. At least 17 came as refugees. Their crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, and more.

Last week's ruling was the action of politicians blocking a policy they dislike, not judges applying the plain words of the law.