Executive orders are relatively easy. They don’t require approval. There’s no debate. They’re essentially kingly decrees that can only be fought through the court system. If there’s a silver lining to the blocking of President Trump’s travel ban, it’s that everyone from average Joe American citizens to members of Congress to the President himself need to know that long-term solutions to problems such as immigration vetting need to originate in the legislative branch of government.
The President’s travel ban was the fulfillment of a campaign promise and an attempt to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country under the guise of being refugees or short-term visitors. Both of these intentions are admirable, but I’ve stated my opinion that the roll out was amateur at best. Now, we’re seeing one of the two biggest flaws of executive orders: legal challenges.
The other major flaw stems from the realities of executive orders in general. As we’re already seeing, much of what President Obama signed in his overreaching executive orders is quickly being reversed. Executive orders are easy to make, but they’re also easy to reverse. Congress has the advantage of debate and staffs of thousands of people looking into bills before they ever reach the President’s desk. This is why court challenges to laws fail much more often than challenges to executive orders. Laws are simply better researched and implemented than executive orders.
President Trump was right to try which is why I don’t oppose the attempt in theory, but he should have immediately asked Congress to find a real solution even before signing his executive order. Legislating from the Oval Office was prevented by the founders for a reason. There are certain issues that require the expediency and broad powers that executive orders hold which is why they’re legal. However, improving immigration vetting is something that should be handled by Congress. We need a permanent and powerful solution, not a short-term ban so we can sort things out.
Congress hasn’t acted quickly enough so the President took action. Now, Congress needs to step up and achieve Trump’s goal in a way that’s longer-lasting and much more efficient.
America is a sovereign nation. With as many enemies as we have, it’s imperative that we are aware of who is entering the nation and what they’re doing while they’re here. To make this happen, we need more than an executive band aid. We need real actions in the form of laws that come from Congress. Otherwise, efforts will be put on hold allowing more potential threats to enter the country unchecked.