Understanding the Other Side: An Explanation of the Reasoning Behind Cancelling U.S. Visas From the 7 Banned Countries

For those of you genuinely wanting to understand how the Trump administration could just cancel (U.S. Visa – Urgent Notice; State Department notice revoking visas under Trump order released) U.S. visas for people from the 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen), I’ve compiled quotes and videos from news sources that explain their reasoning.

Please note that if you have read any of my other posts on the Travel Ban, you know that I am on the side of the volunteer lawyers and everyone else trying to help during this mess. But I believe strongly in trying to understand the other side, so this post is for those who share my passion for trying to find a compromise with the current administration.

Vetting Syrian Refugees: Mission Impossible | The Huffington PostNov. 19, 2016

“Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and NCTC Director Nicholas Rasmussen have all made public statements recently that the intelligence data to support such a through screening process for these Syrian refugees didn’t exist or was inadequate for this requirement.

Senators Rubio and Grassley, as well as Congressman Ryan among others have all called for a thorough screening process which may be largely naïve on their part. No act of Congress, even if President Obama were to sign it could make this happen.

If databases to support a thorough vetting process did exist, where would they come from? Syria – highly unlikely that the Syrians have anything like this, or if they did would certainly not share them with the U.S. that has sought their demise for some five years now. Does the CIA or any other allied intelligence service have a database that covers the millions that have fled Syria, and how would it have been compiled? This is an equally absurd notion and no responsible intelligence official has even suggested that one exists. A related notion that somehow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could step in and magically concoct one is equally laughable. The bottom line here is that these supposed databases don’t actually exist and never will.”

Senior Obama officials have warned of challenges in screening refugees from Syria – The Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2015

“Several high-level administration officials have warned in recent months just how challenging this can be. While they say U.S. security measures are much better than in the past, vetting Syrian refugees poses a quandary: How do you screen people from a war-torn country that has few criminal and terrorist databases to check?”

VIDEO: Obama Administration Official Admits to Allowing Refugees in to U.S. Based on Their Testimony Alone | Ted Cruz | U.S. Senator for Texas, September 28, 2016

“Sen. Cruz: Is it true or false that the testimony of the applicant alone can be sufficient for approval?

Director Rodríguez: There are cases where the testimony is not necessarily corroborated by documents…I am acknowledging that, yes, testimony can be the basis for the grant of a refugee…”

Exclusive: Homeland Security passed on plan to vet visa applicants’ social media | MSNBC, Dec. 17, 2015

“Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security considered a specific policy to strengthen security screenings for foreign visa applicants’ social media accounts, but the proposal was ultimately not adopted, according to an internal department memo obtained by MSNBC.

While the U.S. visa screening process does not include formal vetting of social media accounts, the memo proposed the Obama administration “authorize” customs officials to “access social networking sites” to vet applicants. Such vetting could help catch applicants bent on fraud, crime or “national security” risks, the memo stated.

The federal government considered that policy, according to a former senior official in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but officials passed on it in 2011.”

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