11 Things American Taxpayers Should Know About Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

FACT SHEET | JANUARY 2017 | DOWNLOAD PDF



  1. The Executive Orders do not ban Muslim migration to the United States. They place a temporary moratorium on immigration by the nationals of seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
  2. There are 51 Muslim majority countries in the world. Forty-Four of those countries are entirely unaffected by the Executive Orders. There are scores of additional countries with sizable Muslim minorities and immigration from those countries is also unaffected by the Executive Orders.
  3. The list of seven countries was actually compiled by the Obama administration in 2011 in what it characterized as an effort to combat “the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters.”
  4. Iran, Sudan, and Syria are all on the U.S. Department of State’s list of designated “State Sponsors of Terrorism.”
  5. Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are all listed as failed or failing states on the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index 2016.
  6. All seven countries on the list are unwilling or unable to provide the information necessary to properly vet applicants who wish to immigrate to the United States.
  7. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) grants the President statutory authorization to prohibit the entry of any aliens or class of aliens into the United States if he has deemed their entrance to be detrimental to the interests of the United States.
  8. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) is a statutory reflection of the Supreme Court’s holding in Nishimura Ekiu v. United States, 142 U.S. 651 (1892) which held that:  “It is an accepted maxim of international law that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.”
  9. The Executive Orders merely state that the Trump administration will adhere to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as written; and direct the Department of Homeland Security to exercises authorities that have part of the INA since before World War II.
  10. Democratic President Jimmy Carter exercised the same authority to impose a temporary moratorium on migration from Iran during the Iranian revolution.
  11.  8 U.S.C. § 1152, which has been touted by the mainstream media as making it illegal to  deny a visa on the basis of an applicant’s nationality has absolutely nothing to do with the President’s executive power to determine whether the admission of any aliens or classes of aliens may  be detrimental to the interests of the United States. Rather, it prohibits Department of State personnel from unilaterally deciding to, for example, grant all qualifying Frenchmen visas ahead of Spaniards, or all qualifying Hutus ahead of Tutsis – because the Constitution gives Congress the power to determine numerical limitations on available visas for individual foreign states.