With a court battle underway over President Donald Trump's temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from 7 Muslim-majority nations in the Middle-East and North Africa, many have begun to question whether or not the president has the legal authority to issue such a ban. Fortunately, one need look no further than Trump's predecessors to find precedent for this executive action.
According to a new Congressional Research Service report entitled Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens, the last 5 presidents have used executive authority to limit or restrict the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants into the U.S. a total of 43 times.
Ironically, it appears that President Barack Obama used this authority more frequently than any of his predecessors, exercising it a total of 19 times during his two terms in office.
Here's the breakdown of how many times each of the past five presidents issued such orders:
- Ronald Reagan - Five times
- George H. W Bush - One time
- Bill Clinton - 12 times
- George W. Bush - Six times
- Barack Obama - 19 times
In a tweet on Sunday, Trump reiterated his belief that the courts were putting Americans in jeopardy by calling a halt to the ban:
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
Read the full Congressional Research Service report HERE.