Donald Trump has received much flak from Democrats and Republicans alike for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S through executive authority. However, the past six presidents have all used the executive power to bar different classes of immigrants.
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
President Barack Obama has used the authority this statute provides six times in his tenure. In July 2011, Obama barred the entry of “anyone under a UN travel ban; anyone who violates any of 29 executive orders regarding transactions with terrorists, those who undermine the democratic process in specific countries, or transnational criminal organizations.”