Barletta Comments on SCOTUS Decision to Reinstate & Review Trump Immigration Executive Order

Jun 26, 2017
Press Release
Joins Letter Urging Justice Ginsburg to Recuse Herself from Case

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to review two lower court rulings blocking President Donald J. Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending travel to the United States from six countries with strong connections to terrorism.  The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the executive order during its next term starting in October.  In the meantime, much of the executive order will take effect.

“The president has a duty to protect the American people, and his executive order ensures that we have the time and capability to accurately determine the background of people seeking access to this country,” Barletta said.  “From my seat on the House Homeland Security Committee, I have listened to numerous national security experts testify that we simply cannot accurately screen refugees from the countries in question because we have no information from their home countries to verify their identities.  By claiming that the president’s executive order attempted to accomplish anything other than protecting the American people, the two lower court’s rulings placed ideology in front of national security.  The Supreme Court’s decision recognizes the president’s constitutional authority to secure our borders and uphold our immigration system.”

The president’s executive order temporarily suspended immigration for 90 days from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan, all of which the Obama Administration identified as hotbeds of terrorism.  The order also suspended the refugee program for 120 days, explicitly exempting individuals with green cards and visas, and removed all preferences for religious minorities. 

The Supreme Court’s decision allows much of the executive order to take effect, except in cases where an individual has a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States,” including individuals with family, jobs, or schooling in the U.S. 

Barletta agreed with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, who argued that the entire executive order should have been reinstated. 

“While I am pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed much of the order to take effect, I agree with Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch that the government’s interest in protecting our national security outweighs the tiny percentage of travelers who would experience minor inconveniences while the new policies are enacted,” Barletta said.  “We know that ISIS has expressed their intent to use our refugee program to sneak their fighters and sympathizers into our country because they know our security measures are lacking.  We should not allow them any opening to do this.”

Barletta today also signed on to a letter, with 57 of his House colleagues, requesting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse herself from participation in the Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project case – one of the two cases concerning the president’s executive order – due to repeated public comments she made criticizing both candidate and President Trump.

“As an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, you are required to recuse yourself in cases in which your ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’ and where you have ‘a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party,’” the letter states.  “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rested its decision in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project on President Trump’s campaign statements.  The case places the personal credibility of President Trump directly at issue.  Given your repeated public criticism of both candidate and President Trump, the statute is triggered and your recusal in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project is required by law.”

The letter to Justice Ginsburg can be read here.