President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been firmly defended by the United States Justice Department, which urged the court to reinstate it over national security considerations.
In its 15-page brief, the justice department argued that the executive order does not violate any laws and that neither is it a Muslim ban, reports CNN.
The controversial executive orders places a temporal ban on immigrants from 7 Muslim-dominated countries from entering the U.S.
The countries affected are Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Iran. Syria had been banned indefinitely. However, a Friday ruling by Judge James Robart lifted the ban and thus those with a valid visa can travel freely as it was before.
Argument of the Justice Department
The court in its ruling had asked the government and the two states contesting the executive orders to provide additional argument by Monday afternoon. In a swift reply to the directive, the Justice Department filed a brief on Monday evening, saying the Washington court “erred in entering an injunction barring enforcement of the order”.
It said that the court acted overboard in its nationwide injunction.
The key factors in the argument are:
- The person in the best position to make an effective decision on national security is the president
- Non-Americans have no right to undergo a due process
- The ban is not a “Muslim ban” just because it targets the identified high-risk countries
- The order therefore targets no particular religion
With the signing of the orders on 25th January, Donald Trump fulfilled his campaign promise of tightening the requirements to enter the US.
Apart from a temporal ban on the said countries, all U.S refugee programmes have been placed on a halt. Admission priority would be given to all refugees escaping from persecution (interpreted to imply the Christian refugees). In addition, all Syrian refugees have been banned indefinitely while a cap has been placed on the total yearly U.S. refugee admissions to below 5,000.
Havoc was created all over U.S. and foreign airports upon the enforcement even as polls indicate that the public opinion over the matter is sharply divided.
The contesting states
The ban was argued against by two states, Washington and Minnesota saying that it is unconstitutional as it harms not only universities but also residents and businesses.
Attorneys general in 16 states have signed a letter condemning the ban, and lawsuits have been launched in 14 states.
Other people who have firmly stood against the ban are former state secretaries, John Kerry and Madeleine Albright as well as former CIA director Leon Panetta.
The Silicon Valley has equally not been left behind, with tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook firmly condemning it. Google and Apple’s court argument is that their firms will be harmed since it will become hard for them to recruit employees.
Donald Trump’s defense reflects that of the justice department citing national security threat.
The President has also issued a set of Twitter attacks on the “so-called” judge saying that he and the court system will be responsible incase “something happens.”
As the court of appeal prepares to make a decision on Tuesday, there is a high possibility of the case ending up in the U.S. highest court – the Supreme Court.