Nothing has provoked the ire of America’s bipartisan political class as much as Donald Trump’s recent proposal that the U.S. should suspend the acceptance of refugees from Syria and other terrorist-supporting nations until we find a way of perfecting the screening process to ensure that we are not admitting terrorists or terror sympathizers. On its face this proposal was not unreasonable.
Most of these refugees do not have adequate documentation, intelligence agencies do not have sufficient information to determine whether or not they have terrorist connections or intend to engage in terrorism, and the heads of our security agencies have warned that active terrorists will inevitably slip through security screening cracks. Nor is it as if there was no reasonable alternative. Wouldn’t it have been better, as Trump and others have suggested, to address the refugee crisis by setting up security zones in Syria or other Middle Eastern countries where refugees could find safety and where Muslim nations might feel obligated to help finance their care? In addition to making sense from a national security perspective, this would also have been a more humane solution, since it would not have uprooted the refugees from their homelands and injected them into an alien way of life.
Why are our political leaders, despite these facts, willing to expose the nation to such potential danger?—a danger that is surely greater than we now imagine.