On Monday, January 30th, Trump has decided to replace the most recent Attorney General, Sally Yates, for refusing to enforce Trump’s travel ban executive order. She was put into office by Obama recently, but has been dismissed with a hand-delivered letter for going against the Trump Administration. She was not convinced that the defense of the executive order is the duty of the Department of Justice, and that the executive order itself is lawful. When being confirmed as a candidate in 2015, she did confirm that she would resist unlawful orders.
As always, there are varying degrees of reactions to this dismissal. Representative John Conyers stated “If dedicated government officials deem [Trump’s] directives to be unlawful and unconstitutional, he will simply fire them as if government is a reality show.” On the other side, the editors of National Review believes that “every official in the Justice Department knows, if one disagrees with the law one is called upon to apply, or the policy one is bound to enforce, one is free to resign”.
White House policy director Stephen Miller addressed MSNBC on Monday, giving reason to the event. Miller stated that according to the Immigration and Nationality Act, the President “the ability to exclude any class of would-be visitors or immigrants to our country based on our national security interests.”
The Immigration and Nationality Act that Miller is referring to is the 1952 revision. However, the most recent revision of 1965 rescinds that discrimination. It eliminated national origin, race, and ancestry as basis for immigration. Does this still give Trump the right to impose his immigration ban executive order?