Trump meets with law enforcement leaders in Washington

President Donald Trump said he expects to find allies among law enforcement officials in the legal testing of his travel ban

By Emily Ngo 

WASHINGTON — Even a “bad high school student” would understand the law permitting the president to restrict the entry into the country of people he deems a threat, President Donald Trump said Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C., condemning legal challenges to his travel ban.

“You can be a lawyer or you don’t have to be a lawyer, if you were a good student in high school or a bad student in high school, you can understand this,” Trump said in remarks to a meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “And it’s really incredible to me that we have a court case that’s going on so long. Again, a bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this.”

The president has signaled earlier that he expected to find allies among police chiefs and other law enforcement officials against the “horrible, dangerous and wrong” legal testing of his controversial executive order.

At the chiefs’ conference, he read a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to a receptive audience while criticizing a panel of federal appeals court judges who are currently challenging the legal basis of his travel ban.

“They are interpreting things differently than probably 100 percent of people in this room,” Trump said.

Earlier in the morning he had tweeted: “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!”

He continued that he will be addressing “police chiefs and sheriffs and will be discussing the horrible, dangerous and wrong decision.”

The president has expressed increasing frustration with the mounting legal challenges against his executive order barring the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from all over the world. The broadest of the court rulings has halted the travel ban nationwide.

Among the questions facing the administration is whether Trump has the authority to enact such restrictions and whether the ban is discrimination against Muslims.

Trump maintains the executive order is in the interest of national security.

The president had found sympathetic voices among the county sheriffs he gathered at the White House on Tuesday.

The group discussed immigrants arriving illegally to the United States, but there were no specific mentions of a terror threat linked to the Islamic State — which Trump has cited as justification for the ban.

“You have a big problem with the refugees pouring in, don’t you?” Trump had asked Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriff Richard W. Stanek.

The sheriff replied: “Yes, we do, sir. ... Rule of law is strong and the proper vetting of individuals is really important to us.”

Copyright 2017 Newsday

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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