Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem recently joined North Dakota to 15 other states which filed an amicus brief in support of President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban. I had him on my radio show today and asked him why he supports the policy.
“I felt that it was important to stand up for constitutional principles,” he told me.
He said those challenging the travel ban are attempting “to claim that non-resident aliens…somehow have constitutional rights.”
He also said there are separation of powers issues that the courts need to review, pointing out that Congress has passed laws specifically giving the President broad powers to restrict entry into the country.
“This is not a permanent ban on entry into the United States,” he added.
Democrats ripped Stenehjem’s support for the ban. “We are America and we have always welcomed those who seek a better future,” party executive director Robert Haider said in a statement. “Communities across North Dakota have been built and supported by refugees and immigrants from Canada, Norway, Somalia, Iraq, and many places in between. Immigrants from all over the world help support our economies – working at our businesses and starting their own, filling critical jobs, and growing their families here in our state. They are part of our community.”
“Stenehjem wants to play politics with an issue that’s about community, family, and safety. That’s disappointing and wrong – and he should know better,” he added.
“We are a nation of immigrants,” Stenehjem said when I read him the statement, but he added that the President must “have the authority to ensure those who are coming” meet criteria to ensure the nation’s safety.
I also asked if Stenehjem planned on running for re-election. He ran for governor last year but was defeated by Doug Burgum in the Republican primary. His term as Attorney General is up in 2018.
He said there’s “a strong likelihood I will run again.”
“I’m not ready to retire,” he added.
Here’s the audio: