On Monday, 13 states filed an amicus brief supporting President Trumps’ revised executive order of nationals entering the US from six “Countries of concern.” The group of 12 state attorneys and a Mississippi governor, Phil Bryant, is urging the federal appeals court to allow the implementation of the revised travel ban.
The attorney Generals from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia joined with Governor Bryant to file the brief. The group is arguing that the courts are infringing the President’s ability to make security decisions by blocking his orders.
Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday led a coalition of 13 states in filing a brief with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defending President Donald Trump’s revised immigration order.
In the brief, Paxton and representatives from 12 other states argue that the Trump administration’s new order is legal and falls under the president’s power over foreign affairs and national security.
Plaintiffs’ constitutional challenges rest on the flawed premise that the United States Constitution confers on nonresident foreign citizens, located abroad, rights regarding admission into this country. But it is “clear” that “an unadmitted and nonresident alien” “ha[s] no constitutional right of entry to this country as a nonimmigrant or otherwise.” Mandel, 408 U.S. at 762. The “power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative,” and aliens seeking admission to the United States request a “privilege.” Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32 (1982).
The Executive Order classifies aliens by nationality—not religion. The Executive Order’s temporary pause in entry by nationals from six countries and in the refugee program neither mentions any religion nor depends on whether affected aliens are Muslim. See EO §§ 2, 3, 6. These provisions distinguish among aliens only by nationality. Id. Thus, the Executive Order is emphatically not a “Muslim ban.” Indeed, numerous Muslim-majority countries in the world were not covered by the seven-country list used in the prior Executive Order,6 and the Pew Research Center estimates that this list from the prior Executive Order “would affect only about 12% of the world’s Muslims.”