In the month since Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for “extreme vetting” of immigrants, which would “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America” per comments he made at a press conference, a lot has happened. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously against overturning a temporary stay placed on the order’s stipulations regarding legal immigrants with recently obtained visas and other documentation, while the travel industry has suffered measurably in the aftermath. As for the order’s promises regarding several departmental studies to ascertain threat probabilities regarding the seven countries whose citizens were banned, it seems the Department of Homeland Security’s earliest assessment isn’t so great (for Trump).
A leaked three-page report ordered by the department’s acting under secretary determined, among other things, that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.” What’s more, the report confirmed prior comments that “relatively few citizens of the seven countries” identified by the order — Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Somalia — “compared to neighboring countries” like Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, “maintain access to the United States.” Which especially doesn’t bode well for the order, as residents from the latter three nations have committed known terrorists acts against or in the United States.
Following the document’s leaking on Thursday, Homeland Security spokesperson Gillian Christensen didn’t deny its validity when asked about it by the Associated Press. “While DHS was asked to draft a comprehensive report on this issue, the document you’re referencing was commentary from a single intelligence source versus an official, robust document with thorough interagency sourcing,” she said, adding the report in question “does not include data from other intelligence community sources.” As a result, “it is incomplete.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration shows now signs of curbing its professed actions regarding domestic and international immigration — court decisions notwithstanding. As the president told CPAC attendees during his speech on Friday, “we are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.”
(Via Associated Press)