Trump, Taricco, Turks and Tusk

von Maximilian Steinbeis

Dear Friends of Verfassungsblog,

this has, once again, not been the happiest week for constitutionalists. Donald Trump’s barrage of executive orders had many of us gasping from shock and bewilderment, most of all the order to detain and, in some cases, deport citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries regardless of their right of residence in the US. Constitutionally, the President is widely unrestrained in matters of foreign policy in the US – but that does not necessarily mean that the Constitution lets him get away with deliberately arbitrary measures, as MOHAMMAD FADEL points out in his stringent analysis of the "Muslim ban". And then there is international law: The ways this policy violates the international obligations of the US are detailed in our interview with JAMES HATHAWAY, among them the duty not to discriminate refugees for reasons of country of origin or religion. The US are under no legal duty whatsoever, though, to take in refugees at all, as their commitment to refugee resettlement – the largest, besides Canada and Australia, by far in the world – is purely voluntary. This results in a horrible catch-22 situation for proponents of international refugee law: If they take the US government to court, the Republicans might be induced to dump the resettlement program entirely, leaving those in need of protection in a much worse situation than before…

Mayors of US cities have been among the fiercest critics of President Trump’s immigration policy, offering their cities as „sanctuaries“ to undocumented aliens threatened by deportation. Trump, in his turn, has declared his determination to strip these cities from federal funding. As HELMUT PHILIPP AUST explains, the phenomenon of „Sancutary Cities“ is nothing new in the US but part of an ongoing competence struggle between the Federal and the State level of legislation ...

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