Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton came to the defense of President Donald Trump's travel ban, saying Thursday that the judges in two federal courts that ruled against it didn't take a statute granting presidential authority into consideration.
"We're saying basically the court didn't consider the law as written," Paxton told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.
"There's a statute giving the president authority to block any class of aliens that might be detrimental to the United States, put restrictions on them, and do it as long as he wants. And so we want the court to actually consider the law as written instead of extraneous information."
On Wednesday, the state of Texas and Paxton urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, through an amicus brief to reconsider its decision on the travel ban, reports The Washington Post.
In his court filing, he argued that Trump was within his presidential authority to issue an order that temporarily bans certain people from entering the country.
"Like every other State in the Union, [Texas] has a significant interest in protecting its residents' safety," Paxton wrote. "But the State itself possesses no authority to set the terms and conditions of entry for aliens seeking to enter the United States, or to restrict the entry of such aliens for foreign-affairs, public-safety, or national-security reasons. Instead, the State relies on the federal Executive Branch to carry out that function, pursuant to the laws of Congress."
The law is based on nationality, not religion, Paxton said, as "88 percent of the Muslim people are still eligible to come to this country."
"It only relates to seven of the so-called 50 Muslim countries," Paxton told Fox News Thursday, "so, you know, that's a red herring. The real issue here is the safety and security of our citizens."
Paxton further said the court's ruling in the Ninth Circuit was based on "giving due process to nonresident aliens, which we've never seen before...this was a three-judge panel. We're hoping the entire court will hear this and consider the law as written."
In addition, there were noncitizens who were not in the country considered, and "they have no constitutional rights...this court said they had due process rights. That's pretty unheard of for people who are not even in this country," Paxton said.
During the Obama administration, he continued, refugees "weren't vetted, and we had serious concerns about the safety and security of our citizens, concluded Paxton . "I'm happy the president took this stance."
Later Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program, commenting that the Ninth Circuit court, in San Francisco, is "completely liberal and they have refused to follow the law in this case."
"It is clear that the president of the United States has the discretion to protect the American people and I want to show you the nexus with Texas with regard to this travel ban," said Abbott."Remember the attack on Ohio State University just a couple of months ago by a Somali refugee? He came through the state of Texas on his way up to Ohio State.
"Remember last year an Iraqi refugee was arrested in Houston, Texas, because he tried to blow up a huge mall in? So these refugees from the countries that were identified by the president have proven to be a danger."
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