Writing at The American Conservative, former CIA officer Philip Giaraldi offers cogent analysis on President Trump’s new immigration executive order. Giaraldi concludes that Trump “is more right than wrong.”
Congress produced a bill last year that proposed stopping all refugee intake from Syria and Iraq until it could be certified that the new arrivals pose no security threat. The bill did not become law, but it reflected broad sentiment in the legislature that not enough was being done to determine just exactly whom we were letting into the country.
Blocking the entry of people by nationality, even if they have satisfied all normal requirements for visa issuance, might well be illegal under current immigration law, and the executive order is currently being challenged in the courts. And some are also noting that if it truly were a question of national security based on discernible facts, Saudis and Pakistanis would be blocked and subject to intensive secondary review for visa issuance…
The executive order truly lacked any touch of common decency, which might have been considered without weakening its intent. It could and should have permitted visa and green-card holders already in transit or arriving at U.S. ports of entry to be godfathered in….
The countries in question, with the exception of Sudan and Iran (included because they are, for reasons that basically make no sense, labeled state sponsors of terrorism), do indeed have major radicalization problems, as described in the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism. It is quite sensible to block travel by citizens of those countries until one can establish procedures to make sure that militants are not being admitted to the U.S., because embassies overseas have only limited ability to vet prospective visitors or immigrants….
It should be assumed that groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda would be delighted to infiltrate refugee, immigrant, and tourist travel movements into Western Europe and the U.S., which makes American embassies and consulates overseas the choke points for keeping potential terrorists out. Having myself worked the visa lines in consulates overseas, I understand just how difficult it is to be fair to honest travelers while weeding out those whose intentions are less honorable….
Whether an applicant hates America or not is inevitably hard to determine from documents….
Recently, background investigations have sometimes been supplemented by an examination of the applicant’s presence on the internet to determine whether he or she is frequenting militant sites or discussing political issues online….
I personally believe that the United States has a moral obligation to accept a considerable number of refugees and asylum seekers from countries that it has intervened militarily in….
Many of the most radicalized Muslims now carry European passports, and though some already receive additional scrutiny because of where they were born, they are able to travel relatively freely….
The current refugee policy unfortunately means accepting many who have been on the receiving end of U.S. military interventions. Some inevitably harbor thoughts of revenge against the West and the U.S. in particular, meaning that Washington has been taking in many people who have good reason to dislike the United States. This results in a home-grown problem that manifests itself in the courts, where most of those convicted in terrorism-related cases in the U.S. are foreign-born. America’s 100,000 Somali refugees have been a particular problem, with many returning home to join the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab.
The real issue that Trump is and should be addressing is the federal government’s inability to vet visa applicants, immigrants, and refugees to a level that could be considered sufficient from a national-security perspective….
But until a broken immigration system is fixed, he is more right than wrong.
Read more here.