Legal Analyst Philip Holloway: New Trump Immigration Order Will Likely Feature More Protection for Existing Visas, Green Cards

Immigration Felon Roundup
AP File Photo/LM Otero

Former police officer and prosecutor Philip Holloway, founder of the Holloway Law Group, talked with SiriusXM host Matt Boyle about President Trump’s executive orders on immigration on Tuesday’s Breitbart News Daily.

Boyle noted President Trump’s assertion that he has the legal authority to issue these orders, despite court challenges to block them.


“You’re referring to section 1182(f) of the immigration code, which is a delegation to the president of Congress’ plenary power over immigration matters,” Holloway clarified. “When I say ‘plenary,’ I mean absolute. Generally when something is a plenary power, it’s not really subject to review by the courts.”

“I for one have always been of the position that the original executive order was perfectly fine from a Constitutional perspective. That being said, of course, the Ninth Circuit disagreed, and I think the most practical thing the president could do, rather than extended litigation over it and leaving it in limbo, is to go back and redo another one that addresses some of their ill-stated, and I think mistaken, concerns that they had legally speaking,” he advised.

“Particularly in the area of due process and notice to individuals who might be affected – that was part of the problem with the rollout, where so many people got stranded kinda in midair, people who had actually existing visas – I think the president could have done it, I think he had the power to do it. It may not have been the best way to roll it out but it was, I think, legal,” he said.

“I think this new order is going to address the notice provisions, and it’s going to also clearly say that green card holders are not affected. It essentially renders the forty-some-odd cases under the first order, it renders them moot and makes them all go away,” he predicted.

Holloway anticipated the replacement executive order would include “protection for people who have special immigrant visas.”

“These are folks like the Afghans and Iraqis who participated as interpreters in helping the military overseas,” he said. “If someone has an existing visa, I think that in most instances the existing visas will not be affected, but it may give people notice – say ‘look, don’t go down and apply for a new one, because we’re going to suspend the issuance of visas.’”

“Another thing to remember is that part of the original order was left intact by the Ninth Circuit, and that was the cap of 50,000 per year in terms of Syrian refugees,” he pointed out. “As of I think yesterday afternoon, the last numbers I saw were that already in 2017, some 35,000 have entered the U.S. That just leaves about 15,000 spots, so to speak, left in terms of Syrian refugees. They may actually decide to leave that out altogether because we’re already nearing the cap that is still in place under the first order.”

Boyle summed up the conflicting visions of immigration as an argument between those who think foreign nationals have a right to enter the United States, and those who say the U.S. has a right to limit immigration as its citizens see fit. “We have a sovereign right to decide who is allowed into our country, and who isn’t. Isn’t that correct?” he asked.

“That is absolutely correct, and the Constitution, as I said, sets out that Congress and the executive together through statute have this plenary power in regard to immigration,” Holloway agreed. “The idea that some non-U.S. citizen outside the country has any Constitutional rights in the United States is absurd. It’s been that way forever. So if you were to say, hypothetically, that a person in France who is not a U.S. citizen, a French citizen, has some federal constitutional right while they’re standing in their apartment in Paris, that they have some right under U.S. Constitutional law to get on a plane and come here, then what other rights do they have that only belong to U.S. citizens and people who are on U.S. soil?”

“The idea that there is some right of an alien to enter the country is, in my view, just ridiculous from a legal perspective,” he declared.

Boyle asked what the Trump administration could do to avoid another court tangle over the president’s immigration orders.

“You have to keep in mind that this time around, they have a secretary in place now. There was no secretary in place before. And an Attorney General. We had a lot more holdovers that were sort of place holders the first time around. Now Trump has his people in,” Holloway replied.

“They’re working on a phase-in period for certain parts of the order, so that there won’t be chaos,” he said. “They’re going to make sure that people who are inbound to the United States on flights from these countries are able to land, and able to enter. Now, getting on a flight after the order takes effect may be a different matter, depending on what sort of status you have, but they’re going to make sure that the new order does not affect green card holders and people with existing visas.”

“I think they have an opportunity to give detailed guidance to immigration officials at all ports of entry in advance, so that there’s no guesswork involved that we saw the first time around, where you saw it being implemented in different ways in various parts of the country. Because the framework of the Trump administration is on much more solid footing now than it was just a few weeks ago, that will give the proper officials the ability to make sure this runs more smoothly this time around,” he said.

“There’s still going to be lawsuits, and if you find the right judge and the right federal circuit somewhere in who-knows where – probably in the Northeast or in California, in the Ninth Circuit area – we may have some decisions that have to be fought,” Holloway warned. “If you get a judge that, I think, is going to follow the law and understands this idea of plenary power and the delegation of that power through 1182(f) to the president, the order I believe should stand, and I think the legal challenges will not really get as far this time around.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

Listen to the audio of the full interview above.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.