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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Acting Attorney General fired for not defending Trump’s immigrant ban

President Donald Trump was quick to dismiss former President Barack Obama-appointed Attorney General Sally Yates Monday after she refused to defend his recent executive order temporarily banning all refugees and indefinitely banning Syrian refugees in court.

The controversial executive order bars all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, and bars citizens of the seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days. These countries include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen.

"At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates wrote in a letter to the Justice Department officials Monday.

Trump fired Yates just hours later, calling her “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.” Additionally, Trump declared Yates’ actions to be a political move designed to delay his cabinet nominations in a tweet Monday night.

Conversely, other political leaders, including Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer, defended Yates’ actions.

“The Attorney General should be loyal and pledge fidelity to the law, not the White House. The fact that this administration doesn’t understand that is chilling,” Schumer said.

UW-Madison Law School professor, Frank Tuerkheimer, noted that the situation is not black and white.

“She is entitled to act out her conscious, but the president is entitled to have someone represent him,” Tuerkheimer said. He added that the removal of Yates was certainly expected.

Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will serve as acting attorney general until Trump’s nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is confirmed by the state. Boente has served on the Department of Justice for 31 years and was appointed by Obama as U.S. attorney in 2015. 

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