An immigration order that the White House said would have blocked refugees and immigrants from countries with ties to terrorism is “arbitrary,” the Justice Department said Thursday.
The Department said the executive order was “not based on a credible national security threat.”
It is the latest in a string of recent actions by the Trump administration that have drawn criticism from some legal experts.
Trump on Wednesday signed an order directing federal agencies to conduct “detailed reviews” of any “threats to the national security” of the United States.
That order came as the nation faces a spike in terrorism-related incidents, including a deadly car bombing in Boston that killed four people and injured more than 180 others.
The new order directs the department to conduct such reviews for three years.
“The administration’s actions today are inconsistent with the rule of law, contrary to law and the Constitution,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, the Justice department’s acting head.
“We will defend the rule, the Constitution, and the rule is our duty to enforce it.”
In a statement, Trump called the order “arrogant and unlawful.”
“It is outrageous and unconstitutional to deny refugee and other immigrants entry to the United STATES when there is no credible national-security threat,” the statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.”
While the administration’s executive order today is just the latest step in a long list of unlawful actions taken by the Obama Administration, it reflects the Administration’s willingness to disregard the rule-of-law, ignore our country’s history of refugees and the millions of immigrants who have fled oppression, and disregard our Constitution,” the administration statement continued.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.