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Could Trump's anti-Muslim immigration policy ever become law?

This past Sunday evening, in the wake of the tragic San Bernardino shooting last week, President Barack Obama addressed the American public. Obama's message was one of resilience as he stressed the importance of not giving in to fear, coming together and of upholding the very ideals of freedom and inclusion upon which the United States was founded. While his message no doubt resonated with many U.S. citizens, it apparently didn't sit well with Republican presidential candidate front-runner Donald Trump.

In response, Trump released what he touted as his own solution to prevent future mass shootings like the one that was carried out by a husband and wife who authorities report were radicalized Muslims. As Trump unabashedly called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," his incendiary comments left many Muslims and non-Muslims alike angered and saddened.

As democrat and republican leaders condemned Trump's proposal, declaring it offensive, racist and unconstitutional; questions were raised about whether an immigration policy that seeks to exclude individuals solely based on religion could ever become a reality. In a recent National Public Radio article, several immigration and legal experts weighed in on this topic and whether Trump's anti-Muslim immigration proposal is indeed unconstitutional.

According to Yale constitutional law expert, Akihil Reed Amar, if elected president, Trump would need to convince Congress to vote to "pass a law barring foreign Muslims from entering the country." Under the "plenary power doctrine" Congress has the power to keep foreigners who are seeking to enter the U.S. out, a power that was exercised by past politicians with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

However, Muslim individuals affected by the law would almost certainly take action to contest its constitutionality which, the legal experts who were consulted for this story agree, would not be upheld by members of the Supreme Court.

Source:, "Trump's Muslims Plan: Inflammatory? Definitely. Unconstitutional? Maybe," Eyder Peralta, Dec. 9, 2015, "Trump Calls For 'Total And Complete Shutdown Of Muslims Entering' U.S.," Jessica Taylor, Dec. 7, 2015

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