“For a brief moment after the attacks of 9/11,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday, “our nation shook off its complacency, and realized our American values had a mortal enemy called radical Islam.” This threat, Kelly said, “has metastasized and decentralized, and the risk is as threatening today as it was that September morning almost 16 years ago.”
Part of the problem, Gen. Kelly said, is that many “holy warriors” will depart their home countries, and because of the Visa Waiver Program, “they can more easily travel to the United States which makes us a prime target for their exported violence.”
To address this problem, President Donald Trump issued an executive order temporarily restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations with terrorist issues, only to have the order blocked by federal judge James Robart. Last month, President Trump issued “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Federal judge Derrick Watson blocked the order, ruling that a reasonable person would conclude that the measure was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion,” not to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.
Neither judge made any reference to the way terrorists had gained entry to the United States in the past, particularly before September 11, 2001. As it happens, the United States government has already addressed that subject at considerable length.
“It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the
United States if they are unable to enter the country.”
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