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Professor Anil Kalhan Critiques Proposed Ideological Tests for Immigrants in Vox

Professor Anil Kalhan

August 18, 2016

Professor Anil Kalhan provided commentary on GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposal for “extreme vetting” of immigrants and tourists in an article published by Vox on Aug. 16.

The article explores policy shifts regarding the screening of visitors and immigrants, noting that Congress in 1990 passed an immigration law that restricted the reasons that the government could use for denying visas on the basis of “foreign policy.”  At the time, the article noted, the Reagan administration had been denying visas to communists, contending it would hurt U.S. foreign policy.

The law, Kalhan said, illustrated the potency of the First Amendment in the eyes of Congress.

Although a Trump administration could institute a screening test and appoint justices to the Supreme Court that endorse screening based on testing, Kalhan observed that the First Amendment is “no less fundamental in the pantheon of American values” than others the GOP nominee endorses.

Kalhan is an expert on immigration law and policy who chairs the New York City Bar Association's International Human Rights Committee.