Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens, & More from CRS

01.26.17 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The President seems to have broad statutory authority to exclude aliens from the United States, a new report from the Congressional Research Service says.

“On its face, [the Immigration and Nationality Act] would appear to give the President broad authority to preclude or otherwise restrict the entry into the United States of individual aliens or classes of aliens who are outside the United States and lack recognized ties to the country,” according to the report by Kate M. Manuel of CRS.

But that authority is not necessarily unlimited.

“In no case to date […] has the Executive purported to take certain types of action, such as barring all aliens from entering the United States for an extended period of time or explicitly distinguishing between categories of aliens based on their religion. Any such restrictions could potentially be seen to raise legal issues that were not raised by prior exclusions…. Similarly, if the President were to purport to exclude aliens based on their religion, an argument could potentially be made that this action is in tension with U.S. treaty obligations or the First Amendment,” the CRS report said.

See Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens: In Brief, January 23, 2017

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview, January 18, 2017

FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues, January 23, 2017

The Selective Service System and Draft Registration: Issues for Congress, January 23, 2017

Venezuela: Issues for Congress, 2013-2016, January 23, 2017

Vulnerable Youth: Employment and Job Training Programs, January 23, 2017

Sentencing Reform at the End of the 114th Congress, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 24, 2017