Judge Napolitano is a prominent constitutionalist and libertarian commentator and former superior court judge and as such is well versed in legal cases and has the experience to back up his opinions. During the Trump presidency, Napolitano expressed his opinions on a potential legal case regarding the actions of the president and his opinions and decision to limit immigration from particular countries. Trump considered the immigration ban as a form of foreign policy and as such, he felt that he had the right to control any decision in regards to limiting access to our country. On the other side, particular states felt that due to state policy regarding immigration they had the right to sue on the behalf of existing immigrants and their families because as is the case with a lot of laws, clash with the national laws and in some cases the opinions and determinations of the president.
From a legal standpoint, we need to research a bit further into who if anyone is more correct in regards to foreign policy and immigration as a whole. Since the early years of our country, we have had policies built on excluding particular groups of people from entering. As early as 1849, the United States, still in its infancy, began restricting the immigration of the Germans and Irish during a time in which they were in desperate need of options and prospects. Jumping forward into 1875, following the civil war, states began proposing their independent immigration policies although shortly after, the supreme court made a ruling declaring that it was the job of the federal government to rule and enforce immigration policies. The restriction of immigration has always been deeply rooted in the foundation of the United States and as such whether right or wrong, the opinions on which entity has control over immigration whether it be state or federal will always be open for debate.
Now we need to discuss the phrase foreign policy and what exactly it means and if it applies to immigration. At a basic level, the definition for foreign policy is “a government’s strategies in dealing with other nations”. From this definition alone we can gather that it involves working with the leaders of a nation and not individuals trying to find a way to move into a nation other than their origin. Now if there were an agreement between the two nations that allowed immigrants to move from one nation to the next, it would likely be considered foreign policy but that type of agreement is rarely if ever used unless a severe crisis occurs. Circling back to Judge Napolitano opinion on such things he believes that because individuals coming from other nations that must mean generally speaking that trump is associating with a foreign nation in some context which means as president and leader of one branch of the federal government he should have the right to make decisions regarding immigration and exclusion as he wishes.