FILE - In this June 5, 2015 file photo, a view of the Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington. The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants who had pending deportation orders from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and such discrepancies weren’t caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Trump’s DHS Halts Refugee Interviews

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to suspend foreign trips by its personnel to interview refugee applicants since President Trump is expected to soon issue an executive order relating to the refugee admittance process.

As previously reported, Trump is indeed preparing an order which will address entry into the United States by refugees.  He is likely to suspend refugee admissions for 120 days to provide time for the Secretary of State to review and presumably update the procedures governing refugee admittance into this country.  After that review is complete, then refugee admissions will continue, and the DHS can proceed with its interviews of applicants.

Thus, within the context of Trump’s expected order, it seems prudent for the DHS to halt trips overseas to interview refugees until the new procedures are in place.  It makes no sense to interview applicants under the current procedures when those procedures will soon change and the applicants would then likely need to be re-vetted under them.

Many will continue to characterize Trump’s decision as some sort of hard-hearted attempt by him to “ban Muslims.”  This is unfortunate, since Trump has softened his campaign rhetoric and appears to be seeking to create an orderly process by which refugees can be welcomed into the U.S. while also keeping American citizens secure.  As President, he must balance many competing interests and appears to be making a sincere effort at doing so.

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Aaron Simms

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