Immigration ban: How does an executive order work in the US?

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Donald Trump started his stint as the President of the United States of America with a bang. His executive order banning migrants from seven Muslim majority nations is the talk of the world today.

The ban was issued through an executive order. What is an executive order and how exactly does it work. Let us find out here.

How does an executive order work in US?

What is an executive order?

An executive order is an official statement from the president about how the federal agencies he oversees use their resources. The US government is broken into three branches- the Congress which makes the laws, the President who carries out the law and the Courts which evaluate the laws.
In a nut shell, an executive order is not the president creating a new law. This is the job of the Congress. The president through such an order is telling the federal agencies he controls how the law set by the Congress must be carried out.

The President cannot issue such an order that would violate an existing law passed by the Congress. It cannot also violate the US Constitution.

An executive order can be overturned by the courts. The rate at which such orders have been overturned by the courts are very low. One such order which was overturned by the courts was by Bill Clinton which tried to stop the government from contracting organisations that had strike-breakers on their payroll. Apart from the judiciary a new president can also overrule the executive order of a previous president.

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