Today, an astute Associated Press photographer caught Trump immigration adviser Kris Kobach with his (and presumably) President Elect Trump’s immigration enforcement plan.
1. Item No. 1. Bar the entry of potential terrorists. It appears that Trump proposes to do this by re-instituting a Muslim registry abandoned five years ago. This program was called NSEERS. When this program came about after 9/11 it did not put a high priority on the home country of the 9/11 attackers. Saudi Arabia, the home country of most 9/11 terrorists, was on the list but was not a priority. Attackers from 9/11 also included citizens of Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. Lebanon was not on the list and Egypt was an even lower priority than Saudi Arabia.
What are the major terror attacks on the USA since 9/11?
A. Anthrax attacks. 2001. Killed five Americans. Perpetrator: American, spree killing, mental illness.
B. Beltway sniper attacks. 2002. Seventeen deaths. Perpetrators: Americans. While this appears to be a spree killing, part of the motivation may have been based on terrorist motives.
C. Fort Hood mass shooting. 2009. Thirteen deaths. Perpetrator: American born Muslim military officer.
D. Boston Marathon bombing. 2013. Three deaths. Pepetrators: Chechen, Muslim.
E. San Bernadino attack. 2015. Fourteen dead. Perpetrator: American male Muslim and Pakistani female. She was a Sunni Muslim who grew up in Saudi Arabia.
F. Orlando nightclub shooting. 2016. Forty-nine deaths. Perpetrator: American, Muslim.
None of these attacks could have been prevented by NSEERS as proposed by Mr. Kobach as NSEERS’ net did not include a single post 9/11 terrorist perpetrator.
In addition to the reinstatement of NSEERS, Mr. Kobach wants to deny all Syrian refugees entry into the USA despite no evidence of Syrian refugees being involved in terrorism in the USA.
The only thing of substance in Mr. Kobach’s first agenda item is “vetting.” The various immigration related agencies have long used “vetting” as a way to weed out threats and immigration violators. The US government still finds Nazis living in the USA and deports them from time to time.
2. Item No. 2: Deport all criminal aliens. Mr. Kobach defines criminal alien as a foreign national with any arrest. In Oklahoma, a person can be arrested for any criminal offense, which includes things like not wearing a seat belt. The thing about ideologues like Mr. Kobach is that they do not mind going on spending sprees with the taxpayers’ money. The system currently in place defines criminal alien as anyone with a serious misdemeanor or a felony. The taxpayers can afford the current prioritization. Mr. Kobach’s list is foolish. What happens is that when you have a system that allows for persons arrested for not wearing a seat belt to be a priority then that person is usually much easier to deport than much more serious criminals. So, drug kingpin keeps operating while low hanging fruit get the focus of enforcement. I saw this from 2007 to 2012 in Oklahoma City. I would pass mafia bars on my drive to the immigration building in Oklahoma City that stayed in business because the unlawful criminal aliens running those establishments were being ignored as it was much easier to deport those arrested for things such as no state drivers license. Only after the priorities for enforcement changed to putting “real” criminals first did those mafia bars start disappearing.
3. Item No. 3: Build the wall. I do not express any opinion on the need or fiscal responsibility of building a bigger border wall along the southern US border. I’ll leave that for others with border experience. However, I will note that none of the foreign nationals who have committed terrorist acts in the USA have entered illegally through the southern border. I also know in June I attended a talk by the person in charge of southern border enforcement. He thought all aspects of enforcement at the southern border were at appropriate levels.
How do I grade Mr. Kobach’s plan and presumably Mr. Trump’s plan? Item No. 1 gets a D. Item No. 2 gets an F. Item No. 3 gets an incomplete.