BOSTON (CBS) – Anyone here who doesn’t want to see our government do everything they can to keep foreign terrorists who want to kill Americans out of the country? I didn’t think so, that’s a no-brainer.
But President Trump’s executive order of a temporary ban on refugees from certain predominantly-Muslim countries has turned out to be a no-brainer in a different sense – a move lacking proper thought and preparation.
The president’s people claim their Friday afternoon edict, which touched off confusion and well-publicized cases of bad judgement within a poorly-prepared immigration bureaucracy, is no different from a move the Obama administration made a few years ago after an Iraqi refugee was implicated in a domestic terror plot.
But that’s not true.
There was never a refugee ban, just a slowdown while vetting procedures were tightened.
More to the point, even that action by Obama resulted in the same sort of bureaucratic screw-ups we’ve been seeing the past few days – innocent refugees barred from flights, others removed from planes, families thrown into a state of chaos and fear.
Immigration is one of our country’s most volatile political issues, always has been. The presence of criminals and potential terrorists among those trying to come here is a serious issue that should be dealt with seriously and with high priority.
But the Trump White House hasn’t yet made the transition from campaigning to governing.
True governing would have meant waiting for the well-qualified new Homeland Security Secretary, Gen. John Kelly, to take office and work out implementation details of the refugee ban. Instead, we got a rushed, politicized mess.