Immigration Executive Order and National Security

March 13, 2017

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On January 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order barring immigration of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and refugees from Syria permanently. National and international protests have erupted in objection to what critics are calling a “Muslim ban,” and foreign governments, including affected nations Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Yemen as well as U.S. allies Great Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Australia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia have spoken out against the order. Despite a number of legal challenges to the order, the White House has defended its actions as a matter of national security and has received support from European political leaders such as Nigel Farage and Geert Wilders.

This week Berkley Forum asks, does our current system of vetting fall short, as the Trump administration claims, exposing Americans to the threat of religious extremism? If so, what improvements should be made to the vetting system? Would proposed extra vetting constitute a religious test, as some claim? Overall, what do you think this executive order (or a similar rewrite) will do for America’s national security?

Note: This series originally ran in late February 2017. On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a revised "Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States."

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