The Senate Committee on the Judiciary passed an amendment Thursday opposing the United States barring anyone from entering the country based on their religion. The resolution, which has no legal authority, is offered by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy in response to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from traveling to the United States.
“It is the sense of the Senate that the United States must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion, as such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded, ” the amendment reads. The measure easily passed in committee with the support of 16 senators. GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz opposed the amendment along with GOP Senators Jeff Sessions, David Vitter and Thom Tillis. Cruz spokesman Phil Novack said the amendment was “nothing more than a political stunt“.
Trump’s proposal has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats who view it as un-American and a view that stems from bigotry. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act does give the president authority to suspend the entry of any and all aliens deemed “detrimental” to U.S interests for an indefinite period of time. The 1952 law also stipulates any immigrant is “inadmissible” who “has been a member of or affiliated with the communist or other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof), domestic or foreign.”
Trumps stance and popularity in the polls must be seen as especially concerning for the Obama Administration in their ongoing power struggle over Executive Action capability of the Oval Office with respect to Immigration matters. Just imagine if Obama wins in the Supreme Court with respect to the Executive Power, only to see Mr. Trump then take the Oval office and use the exact same power to create new and extremely harsh restrictions on Immigration.