Sunday, February 5, 2017
Trump Refugee Order Balances Security and Compassion
Read any commentary on the just signed executive order on visa and refugee vetting from several countries in the Middle East and odds are the assessment will tell you more about the writer’s politics than be an analysis of the order.
I confess: I have a perspective as well. Mine comes from working on the presidential team on both foreign policy and homeland security from after the Republican convention up to the inauguration. I can’t share the detailed workings of the team. But what I can share, having worked on the issues, is what I believe guided the work.
And it all started with making America safe.
Not campaign promises, anger at any religion, or prejudice of any kind impacted our thinking on the transition team. What we were worried about were future threats.
As the space for the Islamic State, or ISIS, gets squeezed in the Middle East, the remains of the tens of thousands of foreign fighters will have to flow somewhere. Every nation, not just the U.S., believes they are most likely to flow to the countries cited in the order. That fact, and only that fact, is why those countries are included on the list. Indeed, when it comes to visa vetting, that’s why the European Union has restrictions that are comparable to the United States.
The reason why we all worry is because, from those countries, foreign fighters could well try to flow to the West, principally by using visas or posing as refugees....