One theory long held by some of both Donald Trump's supporters and detractors is that he doesn't really believe in everything he says, and that the reason his positions often changed is that he was pandering to get votes by any means necessary. Wednesday afternoon saw the public speculating that he might have performed his biggest flip-flop yet, as one of his biggest talking points was temporarily removed from the internet. Now the world is trying to figure out why Trump’s Muslim ban statement was removed from his website, because the URL for the page was redirecting to the home page for an unknown period of time, although it's now back in place. Those hopeful that the policy was changed can probably stop holding their breath.
Just over 11 months ago, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the U.S." It was a sentiment he often repeated at rallies, and his campaign website featured a dedicated page with a copy of the statement. CBS News reported on the broken link at around 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time, writing that "sometime in the 24 hours after Trump was elected president, the message disappeared from his website without comment." It appears to have come back online sometime between 2:00 and 3:30. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But even if Trump still wants to ban Muslims, can he even do that? He was elected president, not dictator. And presidents can't just do whatever they want; they have to follow the law and cooperate with Congress. President Obama couldn't even get Zika funding because the Senate couldn't hammer out an agreement. And yes, the House and Senate will still be controlled by the Republican Party in January, but there are plenty of Republicans who disagree with Trump's policies; he's not going to get away with everything under their watch.
Even if Trump did have the backing of Congress, he still can't ban Muslims. Banning Muslim Americans would be in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the First Amendment, according to the Washington Post, and banning Muslim immigration from other countries would violate any number of international laws, agreements, or treaties. In addition, it's unenforceable — there's no way to prove what religion someone practices. It's not documented on any official forms, and people can always lie about their beliefs. Muslims worldwide can rest easy in the knowledge that they'll always be allowed in the U.S., though whether they'll be welcomed and not harassed or attacked by Trump supporters is another story, unfortunately.