President Donald Trump is moving fast to change the Syrian refugee program, and he’s not the only one. On Friday, Department of Homeland Security officials suspended a key part of the program, essentially putting refugee admissions from the war-torn country on indefinite hold.
According to Reuters, the DHS suspended trips to Syria to interview potential refugees, a key part of the refugee-admission process.
The decision came Thursday, one day before President Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring visas and refugees from seven nations, including Syria. Reuters reported that the hold was put in effect to develop a more stringent screening process for travelers from those nations.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump said on Friday. “We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”
In addition to Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen would be affected by Trump’s blanket travel ban, which could last up to four months.
“While U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has delayed a number of upcoming trips, those trips have not been officially canceled,” DHS spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen said in a statement.
Liberals have complained about the new policies. The Hill reported that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts liberal who has frequently criticized Trump and has been mentioned as a front-runner for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, went on a “tweetstorm” after the executive order.
“Let’s be clear: A Muslim ban by any other name is still a Muslim ban,” Warren said. “Donald Trump‘s order restricting immigrants from Muslim countries & freezing admission of refugees is a betrayal of American values.”
Well, Sen. Warren, let’s also be clear: The Obama administration had plenty of chances to fix a broken refugee system. It chose not to, mostly as a face-saving political move.
It’s also not Trump’s fault that so many nations with connections to terrorism just so happen to be majority-Muslim countries. I don’t think he planned it that way. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was radical Muslims who have been responsible for that.
As soon as travel from these seven nations, including Syria, can be feasibly reopened, it should be. Until then, the blame lies squarely on the party that controlled the White House for eight years and refused to do anything about a very serious problem.
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H/T The Right Scoop