Supreme Court Upholds Travel Vetting
- The ruling concerned the third iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel restriction, which was challenged on the grounds that it is a “Muslim ban.”
- In the 5-4 opinion penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court found that Trump’s travel restriction fell “squarely” within the president’s authority.
- “The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Roberts wrote. “The text says nothing about religion.”
I did not see this important news (accurately) reported on any of the mainstream headlines this morning. And, it was difficult to find one that did not spin the reporting in a negative fashion for those concerned with the country’s safety and who favor being able to know who is entering the country. Some used the term “immigration” which it is not. Immigration is a process for which one applies and enters on a “immigrant visa”. If you are traveling to the U.S. temporarily, you are coming on a “non-immigrant visa” or on a visa waiver. If you come temporarily (or say you are), immigration is not relevant. If you do not present yourself at a port of entry and attempt to sneak into the country, you are an illegal alien, not an immigrant. We see that problem on our southern border.
Here, the issue is vetting temporary visitors. See related story here. In fact, that is what the policy is–we need to know who you are before we let you enter, and that is a difficult task for the countries listed in the President’s policy. And it makes no difference what your religion is–religion is not mentioned in the policy. What matters is, can we vet you.
The travel restriction affects people from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. These are countries for which vetting is difficult. But, the ban on entering is not absolute–it lasts 90 days, not forever. Chad was dropped from the list of affected countries in April. You will notice that North Korea and Venezuela are not “Muslim” countries. You will also note that Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country on Earth, was never included. Therefore, it cannot (logically) be about religion. It’s about safety. And, the Supreme Court reminded us of this and that the President has that authority.
Even the detractors had to admit it. “The Supreme Court’s decision today was unsurprising,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, the co-author of a 21-volume book on U.S. immigration law. Yale-Loehr had signed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Hawaii. “Because immigration touches on national sovereignty and foreign relations, courts have generally deferred to the president on immigration issues,” he said.
The State of Hawaii, which had filed the law suit that was eventually heard, had alleged that the immigration restriction was motivated by religious discrimination, arguing that a majority of the countries included in the ban have primarily Muslim populations.
The Supreme Court sided with the government, which argued in April that the restriction “would be the most ineffective Muslim ban that one could possibly imagine.” Roberts agreed with that argument. Though the ban applies to five countries with Muslim majority populations, “that fact alone does not support an inference of religious hostility,” Roberts wrote, noting that those five countries amount to only 8 percent of the world’s Muslim population.
The bottom line is, if you want to enter the United States, we have to be able to know who you are.
Here is a link to read the entire story reported by CNBC’s Tucker Higgins.