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Our view: Stenehjem right to join request

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has appealed to the Supreme Court to act favorably on President Trump's call to restrict and delay entry into the United States by immigrants from a handful of Muslim-majority nations.

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North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has appealed to the Supreme Court to act favorably on President Trump's call to restrict and delay entry into the United States by immigrants from a handful of Muslim-majority nations.

Trump made the move earlier this year, and it has been met with opposition and legal roadblocks by state-level courts. If the president's mandate passes muster with the Supreme Court, it could limit incoming travel by Muslims from six Middle Eastern countries.

At stake is a legal definition of the president's powers when it comes to national security.

Republican officials from 16 states have asked the Supreme Court to approve the plan, and North Dakota - by way of Stenehjem's office - is among the latest to join that call. Letters also have poured in from attorneys general from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. The governor of Mississippi also has reached out to the Supreme Court, urging passage.

And why not?

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This isn't about discrimination; it's about national security. Specifically, we believe the president should, for the sake of national security, be able to determine who is admitted into the country. Muslims aren't bad people, but the countries on Trump's list tend to produce many of the bad people who wish to do harm to Americans.

Said Stenehjem: "I think it is important as a legal matter that we establish that it is the president, the executive branch of the federal government, who has the authority to determine who is admitted into the U.S."

We are not anti-immigration. America still should be a welcoming place for immigrants who want to make a new life and do it without harming Americans or becoming a burden to taxpayers. Unimpeded immigration makes that difficult.

"America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those feeling oppression," Trump said back in January. "But we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border."

Stenehjem feels this is the president's job.

We agree with the viewpoint of Stenehjem and others who have appealed to the Supreme Court. Stenehjem said on a radio show last week with Forum Communications columnist Rob Port that those challenging the travel ban are attempting to "claim that nonresident aliens ... somehow have constitutional rights."

We believe they do not.

Stenehjem also said it is important to him that he "stand up for constitutional principles."

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Agree or disagree with Trump's reasoning on limiting immigration, but it's not prudent to limit any president's ability to keep the nation safe.

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