The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the law is free from passion. The United States does not enforce laws based on the feelings of others; we enforce them for the better of the people and society. Passion should not dictate our rule; reason and precedent should be the most absolute principles included when determining the laws to safeguard the country. The sovereignty of the United States would diminish if laws were not based on virtuous causes.
If the prosperity of the United States could be harmed, why should the citizens of the country not do everything possible to prevent this? Commonly referred to as the McCarran-Walter Act, the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 was enacted with the objective of excluding particular immigrants from immersing themselves into the United States. The intention of the Act was not solely to exclude immigrants based on country of origin, but to deny immigration to those who were considered feeble-minded, politically radical, or anyone who would cause inimical influences in the United States.
Those who were affiliated with communism were considered especially dangerous due to the fact that the United States was in the midst of the Cold War, and communists were viewed as a threat to the American people and the country itself. The motive imposed in the restrictions of the Act was to allow those who could provide more beneficial assets to the economy within the country.
When the McCarran-Walter Act was first brought about, President Harry Truman attempted to veto the Act because he viewed it as “un-American,” but ultimately the Act had enough support for congress to ratify it. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was enacted by the United States Senate and House of Representatives on June 27, 1952, and was promulgated as Public Law 414. The document does include the authority for the president to prevent immigrants from specific regions and countries from entering the United States.
Under SEC. 212, paragraph 8, subsection (e), the Act reads, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. The Act includes prohibition and applicability of immigrants, numerical limitations, and allocation of immigrant visas. The case law to date does not clearly provide any legal limits on the President’s use of authority when placing prohibitions on the entrances of immigrants into America. The Act provides very broad authority as to how the president of the United States may do so.
When read carefully, the Act clearly does not authorize the president to prevent immigration based on country of origin, nevertheless. it does authorize the president’s decision of preventing the immigration of aliens based on his stance. For example, the president shall have the power to place temporary restrictions on immigration based on country of origin if he deems that the well-being of the United States could be adversely affected by any immigrant or any foreign country.
However, he is not recommended, nor is he permitted, to prohibit any alien or class of aliens from immigrating to the United States based on factors that include bias’ along with sex, income, and religious affiliations. The central statutory constraint inflicted under SEC. 212, subsection (e) is that the president must find that the immigration of any alien, or any class of alien, would be harmful to the United States in order to impose restrictions of the entry of said immigrants.
The central statutory does not tackle what determines how an alien’s entry could be detrimental to the United States. It also does not analyze how the president’s proclamation should be issued or what is considered to be an appropriate time period of restriction. Therefore, under the principles provided in the act, the President of the United States has the most absolute power to prohibit the immigration of any aliens based on country of origin into the United States.
In addition to this, throughout the years, former presidents have justified this clause by acknowledging Article II of the United States Constitution. Under the second article, it merely states that “the executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States,” which allows a president to execute and enforce laws that he deems to be essential. Ergo, if the immigration of specific groups would have an unfavorable effect on the country and people, the president has the right to prohibit this.
The constitution provides no specific provisions to authorize the president to issue proclamations, but in Article II, section lit does provide a basis for the alleged causes explaining why the president might issue an executive order or a proclamation. Limitations can be found through express statutory authority from Congress. Overall, executive orders issued by a president can be submitted without congressional approval and the president has the right to sign and veto laws. Ambiguous means of allocation for authorizing the action to ban immigration based on origin can also be found in the Act.
SEC 215, section (a), permits the president to halt the immigration of aliens from a specific country of origin if the United States has been proclaimed, by the president himself, to be in the state of a national emergency or when there exists a state of war between two or more states. This, along with SEC. 212, permits the president to take restrictive actions on those who are immigrating from their country of origin if the prosperity of the United States and its people is at any risk and he shall make a proclamation of it, otherwise it shall be ordered by congress.