The Trump Administration is considering instituting extreme vetting of all foreigners entering the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Visitors to the U.S. could be forced to provide cellphone contacts and social-media passwords and answer questions about their ideology, according to Trump administration officials, measures that could intrude into the lives of millions of foreigners.
The changes being considered could apply to visitors from America’s closest allies as well as other nations and include subjecting more visa applicants to intense security reviews. Together, they would amount to the “extreme vetting” President Donald Trump promised as a candidate to guard against possible terror attacks.
I don’t think this plan will fly, so to speak. Why the Trump administration thinks it will is a mystery. It is apparent that no broad plan to vet all foreigners will work. The visitors’ countries would complain bitterly and would certainly retaliate against American travelers. Even a somewhat more aggressive plan than the current one targeting those from Muslim countries with a history of terrorism would be considered “profiling” and discriminatory. Even more “Hate Doesn’t Live Here” lawn signs would pop up, and either program would be shot down by the courts and condemned by many in Congress and most of the news media.
The assertion that hate is Trump’s motive in dealing with illegal immigration and visiting foreigners is the usual partisan rhetoric. A couple of years ago, I talked with a young Israeli woman who was selling skin products at the King of Prussia Mall. She said that the mall was the perfect setting for a terrorist attack, and she couldn’t believe the lack of security there. She also noted that the size of the place made it very easy for terrorists to get lost in the crowd and avoid the police.
Many have noted that all of the terrorist attacks here have been carried out by those who are “home grown.” That may be true, but even those with signs on their lawns wouldn’t want to be the first victims of a “refugee” terrorist.
I think it crucial that we get illegal immigration under control. As Mark Steyn wrote, A country that has no control over its borders is not sovereign.” And we must prevent terrorists from traveling to the U.S. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will happen, at least under this president.