Donald Trump promises to use this 1798 ‘wartime’ law if he’s reelected President

Donald Trump made a very strong promise during a campaign rally when he promised to bring back a ‘wartime’ law.

Donald Trump promises to bring back law from 1798 giving him full power over 'all citizens'
© Stephanie Keith / GETTY IMAGES
Donald Trump promises to bring back law from 1798 giving him full power over 'all citizens'

Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail after losing the 2020 Presidential election to Joe Biden. Since this loss which, to this day, he refuses to accept, Trump has been busy with many legal issues.

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However, when being on trial would put most people off from running for President, Donald Trump is actually using it to fund his new 2024 campaign. Very recently, we’ve seen him release merchandise with his mugshot on.

This ongoing legal drama is also not preventing Trump from campaigning. On 20 September 2023, the Republican candidate was in Iowa where he made a very strong promise to his followers were they to reelect him.

Donald Trump wants to bring back the Alien Enemies Act

NBC News reports that during his campaign rally in Iowa, Trump spent a significant amount of time talking about his immigration policy. Addressing the crowd, he said:

I’ll...invoke immediately the Alien Enemies Act to remove all known or suspected gang members…the drug dealers, the cartel members from the United States, ending the scourge of illegal alien gang violence once and for all

This Act would enable him to have full power in the decision making when it comes to deporting and detaining individuals over the age of 14. Bringing back the Alien Enemies Act is something that Trump already promised during this current campaign but this new mention of it could be his way to deflect from the Meet the Media interview in which he criticised Republicans on their stance on abortion. At least, this is what NBC alleges.

During the same rally Trump also swore to bring back and ‘expand’ the ‘travel ban’ he had put in place. This travel ban targeted 7 countries, 5 of them being Muslim countries. Trump also emphasised that, were he reelected, he would put more work into directing the police force and give them more resources, especially when it came to immigration.

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What is the Alien Enemies Act?

The first crucial thing to know about this Act is that it is old. Precisely, it dates back to 1798 when it was part of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Secondly, the Alien Enemies Act is a wartime law. The U.S Code clearly states that it is to be used

whenever there is a declared war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion.

When the Alien Enemies Act is enforced it gives the President full powers when it comes to ‘all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being of the age of fourteen years and upward.’

However, there is a clear limit to this Act, the citizens targeted must not be ‘naturalised.’ That means that American citizens of foreign backgrounds cannot be detained or deported under this Act, even if the President wishes it so.

Read more: Donald Trump: This one detail about his son is leaving the internet speechless


NBC News: Trump vows to invoke a wartime law to deport suspected foreign gang members and drug dealers

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