There has been so much controversy about this recent executive order on immigration put in place by the new administration. I want to take a minute and address it from strictly a non-political perspective, as it pertains solely to our national security interests.
While the effect has been widespread, the law was written for one purpose, to protect the United States from further terrorist attack by those from foreign lands. But many see this new executive order as being something that is meant to divide our nation. So let's look at three primary parts of the law:
Blocking entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries
The countries listed are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. First, this is not a permanent ban, this is only for a 90-day period. These countries are listed because we have known for some time that they all contain significant terrorist influence. This not an all-inclusive list of countries that could be placed on this list. But it is a starting point based on known information.
Suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for a period of 120 days
Our immigration system is currently not capable of properly vetting all refugees coming into the United States. Please remember, every day, refugees come to the US from all over the world, not just the Middle East. We have got to create a better plan to screen and verify the identity of refugees coming into our country. We know that terrorists are utilizing our flawed immigration system to gain entry into the US.
Bar Syrian refugees indefinitely from entering into our country
The ongoing conflict in Syria make it extremely unstable and dangerous. As a result of the war in Syria, many people simply cannot show proof of identity. Do the bad guys know this? Yes. The identity of each and every person entering our border is important and has been since we began accepting over 12 million immigrants on Ellis Island back in 1892.
For any of this to make sense, you must believe three things: 1) Our government has a mandate to protect our citizens 2) It is a privilege, not a right, to be in America. 3)There are people coming to the United States from other countries that want to kill us and have already demonstrated both success and determination in doing just that. I truly believe that the fabric of America was built on immigration and our country will and should always be open to immigrants. So does this executive order seem surprising to some? Yes. But at this moment in time, we are faced with an unprecedented threat of terrorism to our country.
In requiring a 90 and 120 day suspension on immigration the government is following a piece of advice we have all received throughout our lives, both personally and professionally. If you becoming involved in something and it begins to go sideways, just stop! Stop, regroup, reassess, and then you can start again with something more refined. That is all this is. A moment in time for our government to exercise it's right to a sovereign border and in the interest of national security (i.e. the safety of our communities), develop a plan that is more effective than what we have today which is leaving us vulnerable to terrorist attack.
I travel to a lot of foreign countries. And when I enter those countries, I know that my access to that country is being granted as a privilege and not as a right. I wholly expect that if there is a national crisis in that country, my travel will be delayed, postponed or re-routed. Today, we have a national crisis in America that threatens all of us. I know that nothing is more important to each of us than our personal safety and security, and that of our families and of those for whom we are responsible. And I for one, am so very, very tired of reading about terrorist incidents and lone wolf attacks right here in my own country. And I am very tired of seeing the death of both my fellow Americans and immigrants who have come to this country to enjoy our freedom. We are painfully learning that freedom is not free. I believe once the dust settles on this issue, people around the world will respect the fact that America is trying to protect our own.