President Trump’s plans to sign an executive order halting admissions of refugees from high terrorism threat countries offers the first hope in decades of correcting an ill-conceived policy that has long end angered American national security and ineffectively served humanitarian needs.
But while the Trump Administration’s plans will be an improvement, it is not clear that its proposals will be appropriate to effectively address the challenge. Most troubling are the suggestions that refugee flows from high terror threat regions will be curtailed only temporarily until “extreme” vetting procedures are established, and plans to use American military power to establish safe zones in Syria.
Vetting cannot be accomplished reliably in most conflict zones and terminating high-risk refugee flows should not be made contingent on politically convenient fantasies about the possibility of better vetting. Top intelligence and law enforcement officials including the directors of the FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, and Immigration Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate have warned that Syrian refugees cannot be effectively vetted for terrorism risk. They warn it doesn’t matter how extensive the vetting process is when there are no reliable records databases to search.
Furthermore, a large body of compelling evidence from ISIS and U.S. intelligence sources leaves no doubt about the danger the refugee terrorist threat presents to America. ISIS and its associates frequently refer to their intention to strategically exploit refugee flows for terrorist infiltration in works such as Black Flags from Rome, Black Flags from the Islamic State, Libya: The Strategic Gateway for the Islamic State, and How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid’s Guide.
This article first appeared in the Daily Caller on January 30, 2017.
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