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Threatened Ban Could Put Muslim Immigrants in Legal Limbo, Professor Anil Kalhan Tells American Prospect

Anil Kalhan

June 15, 2016

The ban on Muslim immigrants that GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump has threatened could undermine immigrants and noncitizens for an extended period of time, Professor Anil Kalhan said in an American Prospect article published on June 14.

Barring Muslim immigrants and visitors from entering the U.S. would certainly face legal challenges, Kalhan said, yet they might languish waiting for the matter to reach the Supreme Court.

Even First Amendment protections for the free exercise of religion could leave them vulnerable, the article noted, citing laws Congress adopted in the 19th century that used anti-polygamy rhetoric to mask bias against Mormons.

“The normative landscape can shift dramatically around a set of legal opinions based on how public opinion is mobilized,” Kalhan said. “When highly politicized questions go to court, all bets are off.”

Kalhan is an authority on immigration and human rights law whose scholarship U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli cited in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.