Last Friday was Donald Trump’s seventh full day as President, but there was no time to rest. At 4:42 p.m., just as many federal bureaucrats were starting the weekend, Trump signed executive orders that carry out his pledge to temporarily restrict travel from Muslim terrorist nations, including Syria and Somalia, until we come up with a better way to identify those who would do us harm.
Under the new policy, the privilege of visiting the United States would be suspended for 90 days for citizens of 7 of the most dangerous Muslim nations. Refugee admissions would be suspended for 120 days, and Syrian refugees would be suspended indefinitely.
“We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people,” Trump said. “We know nothing about them. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and they have no papers?”
“We have enough problems,” Trump continued. “I am going to be the president of a safe country.”
Over the weekend, thousands of apparently organized protesters disrupted airports and delayed travelers around the country, while ACLU lawyers rushed papers before Obama-appointed judges. More Americans were inconvenienced by the protesters than the handful of foreign visitors who were briefly detained by U.S. customs and immigration officials.
On Sunday Chuck Schumer, the new Senate minority leader, cried crocodile tears as he denounced “this evil order.” As President Trump commented to laughter from the media, “There’s a 5 percent chance they’re real. I think they were fake tears.”
Federal employees returned to work on Monday, and some were fired up to resist the new president’s policy. At the State Department, bureaucrats were circulating a “dissent memo” which included the sanctimonious phrase “We are better than this.”
At the Justice Department, an Obama holdover named Sally Q. Yates has been the Acting Attorney General while Senator Jeff Sessions awaits Senate confirmation as our nation’s 84th Attorney General. As a merely acting official, serving temporarily in a job to which she was not confirmed, she was supposed to be a temporary caretaker, not a policy maker.
On Monday afternoon, Yates announced that “for as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order.” By early evening, Sally Yates was no longer the Acting Attorney General.
When President Obama issued his executive orders known as DACA and DAPA, which directly violated our immigration laws by granting work permits to illegal aliens, his Justice Department defended them all the way to the Supreme Court. When President Trump issues executive orders upholding our immigration laws passed by Congress, government lawyers refuse to defend them, undermining the rule of law.
Defending the temporary suspension of entry by non-U.S. citizens, White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller pointed out that “No citizen of a foreign country has a constitutional right to enter the United States.” Otherwise, anyone who is denied a visa to visit our country could sue for the massive benefits that the taxpayers provide to citizens and legal residents.
Stephen Miller also warned of the “permanent intergenerational problem of Islamic radicalism” that has transformed much of Europe into no-go zones for native Europeans. We should be concerned about similar pockets of unassimilated immigrants in our country, such as Minnesota’s large concentration of refugees from Somalia.
President Trump quickly replaced the defiant acting Attorney General Yates with a U.S. Attorney who would defend his appropriate executive order limiting foreign citizens from seven Muslim nations from entering into our country. Trump appointed Dana J. Boente, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who said he will enforce Trump’s order.
An Attorney General who served under President George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, pointed out that Yates should have resigned from her position if she disagreed with Trump’s executive order about immigration from certain nations associated with terrorism. Yates could have attempted to persuade Trump to change the order if she disagreed with it, and she should have then resigned if she did not want to enforce it.
Instead, the Obama-appointed Yates sent out a blanket order to all attorneys in the Department of Justice not to defend an order by the President, for whom Yates and all Department of Justice attorneys work.
Defiance by Democrats continued in the Senate in their unprecedented walking out of committee votes on two of Trump’s nominations to his Cabinet, Rep. Tom Price for the Department of Health & Human Services and Steven Mnuchin for the Treasury Department. Both nominees have majority support on the Senate Finance Committee and in the entire Senate, but the Democrats resorted to stall tactics to delay their confirmation.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the longest-serving and most mild-mannered members of the U.S. Senate, criticized the stunt as “the most pathetic thing I’ve seen in my whole time in the United States Senate. I think they [the Democrats] ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots.”