Congressman Steve King

Representing the 4th District of Iowa

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The Supreme Court Just Laid the Foundation for the Border Wall

Jun 26, 2018
Column

In one ruling, the Supreme Court has delivered two major victories to President Trump. The first victory is obvious: Trump v. Hawaii validates the President’s broad authority to restrict entry of specified foreign nationals into the United States when the President finds such entry is “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

What does this mean? It means, as I have argued, that President Trump’s “travel ban” limiting immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Chad, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen is constitutional. It means that President Trump does have the authority, despite the open-borders howls of liberals and illegal alien activists, to secure our citizens against threats posed by foreign nationals from dysfunctional states. It is a good ruling, and one that will help President Trump keep this nation safe, secure and protected.

But Trump v. Hawaii is a decision with a less obvious meaning too. The Supreme Court has just laid the foundation for the Border Wall that the President and I want to build along the US-Mexico border. Trump v. Hawaii, in fact, provides a roadmap to “Build The Wall!”

At issue before the Supreme Court was the scope of 8 USC 1182 (f), a federal law which delegates broad authority over immigration policy to the President. Here is the text of that statute:

“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.”

The meaning of the statute is clear, and in upholding President Trump’s “travel ban,” the Supreme Court correctly interpreted it. 8 USC 1182(f), as Chief Justice Roberts writes, is a statute that “grants the President sweeping authority to decide whether to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, and for how long.”

So, it is settled law. President Trump can deny foreign nationals entry to the country. He should immediately issue a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of foreign nationals from Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South American countries until such time as he finds the detrimental effects of illegal immigration from these regions have been curtailed and our border is secure. These areas are home to the violent and dysfunctional countries that export the vast majority of illegal immigrants to America.

In supporting its ruling, the Supreme Court cited two historical examples. The first of these, Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc. is a 1993 ruling cited by the Trump v. Hawaii court as standing for the proposition that the “President could establish a naval blockade to prevent illegal migrants from entering the United States.” The second citation was to a valid Presidential Proclamation issued in 1986 by President Reagan “to suspend entry ‘as immigrants’ by almost all Cuban nationals, to apply pressure on the Cuban government.”

Put these two historical actions together and what do you get? A proclamation that not only restricts the movement of illegal aliens into the United States, but also serves as a means of convincing a foreign government to take measures to deal with a policy matter that is detrimentally affecting our country.

A blockade? That’s the Navy’s version of a Wall. Pressuring Cuba to change on policy? It’s clear that Mexico and other countries in the region see no incentive to crack down on their facilitation of illegal immigration. Perhaps the President’s extended exclusion of their nationals would encourage them to take action to clean up the mess they enable.

In other words, Trump v. Hawaii can be summed up as a constitutional validation of Trump’s promise to “Build the Wall and Make Mexico Pay for It.” He should issue the necessary Presidential Proclamation barring the entry of foreign nationals from the countries in our regional neighborhood immediately, and he should leave it in effect until a Wall is built.

Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

This Op-Ed originally ran in Breitbart on June 26,2018.

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