Dhaka, Bangladesh
Trump’s new visa rules will not stop terror

What Other Say

Trump’s new visa rules will not stop terror

The Trump administration is making a great mistake by following through on its plans for extreme vetting of millions of applicants for visas to enter the US. It is also wrong the new rules do not offer any clear guidelines for State Department officials to follow, allowing wide room for local variations, consulate by consulate. And the biggest error of all is to assume that this muddled implementation of draconian rules will have anything to do with stopping terrorist acts in the US, since a vast majority of the horrors that occurred in the US were carried out by native-born Americans or long-term residents in the US. The New York Times has reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables between March 10 and 17 instructing to all American embassies to increase scrutiny, telling officials to vet a much wider category of visa applicants to determine if they pose security risks to the US. What is particularly unfortunate and regrettably typical of this administration’s style of acting to attract headlines and not caring about the human cost, is that these cables fail to offer any specific rules or guidelines on who should be targeted by this extra scrutiny. It is a disaster that the cables leave that to the discretion of the security officers at each embassy, allowing for an infinite amount of muddle, confusion, and personal interpretation of who should be allowed into the US and who should be refused, and how long the new ‘vetting’ might take. But what is clear is that these moves are in response to the President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated concern over what he sees as a threat of “radical Islamic terrorism” from immigrants. Therefore the extra scrutiny will focus on Muslims, and people travelling from Muslim-majority states. This means that the millions of innocent people simply going about their business and seeking entry to the US will suffer delays and possible harassment to pay for the criminal acts of very few individuals. The officers will use extra scrutiny methods that will include mandatory checks of people’s social media history, and very close review of anyone if a person has ever been in territory controlled by Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). This will includes many Syrian or Iraqis who hated Daesh, and may have suffered badly under its brutal rule. The US has every right to protect itself from terror, but this is not the way to do it. — The Gulf News

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