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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Now That The Dust Has Settled....

Last week saw a storm of articles, attacks and other media attention to a speech at the Democrat convention by Mr. Khan, a Moslem whose son was a officer in the US army who was killed in combat a decade ago.  The overwhelming coverage was on the back and forth between Mr. Khan and Donald Trump, but very little was said about Khan's message and its validity.  Basically Khan stood in front of the DNC, waived a copy of the Constitution and said that it was unconstitutional for the USA to bar entry to the country of people based upon their religion.

Now that the storm has ended, it's worth taking a detailed look at what Khan said.  Simply put, he is wrong on many points.  First, people outside the USA have no rights under the Constitution unless they are American citizens.  This is very basic constitutional law.  There used to be an issue as to whether or not non-citizens in the USA had constitutional rights, but that was decided by the Supreme Court many years ago.  Since people outside the USA have no constitutional rights, they have no constitutional rights that might be violated by actions of the US government.  Second, it is well settled law that the USA can accept or bar entry to anyone seeking to immigrate or visit here.  The immigration laws give that power to the president.  In 2011, president Obama barred immigration of people from Iraq for more than half a year because of worries that there were terrorists from Iraq seeking entry to this country.  For nearly half a century, from the 1920s to the 1960s, immigration to the USA was allowed by quotas set for people from particular countries.  In the 19th century, there were immigration bans on people from China.  All these laws were upheld by the courts.  Third, Khan was criticizing Trump for a plan he is no longer pushing.  Trump now wants to bar entry to people from countries experiencing terrorism unless those seeking entry can pass strict vetting.  In other words, unless the USA can actually determine that the person seeking entry has no ties to terrorism, we will not let him or her in.

So Khan was completely wrong in what he said.

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