Many Republicans here in the US have been concerned with ISIS using the Syrian refuge crisis to sneak terrorists into the US and have stated that they do not trust the vetting process used by the current administration. Meanwhile, it is now clear that the majority of the terrorists that perpetrated the Paris attacks were actually European citizens. While the refugees have to go through a 2 year vetting process to get into the US, tourists and business travelers many times go through no vetting process at all. As a example, the majority of the 9/11 hijackers got into the country on tourist and student visas if IIRC.
If you go to this website maintained by the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and scroll down to the statistical tables on non-immigrant visas (pdf) you will see that the US issued non-immigrant visas to almost half a million people from Africa last year (including many to people from Northern Africa where the Madrid Bombers originated). They issued almost 4 million visas to people from Asia including more than 140,000 visas to people from Saudi Arabia where the 9/11 hijackers originated. And they issued more than 50,000 visas to citizens of Belgium and France where the majority of the Paris attackers came from. Clearly, students, tourists, and business travelers pose a much higher risk than the 10 thousand or so Syrian refugees trying to come to this country. Right?
If we did start severely limiting the number of people that came to the US in fear of the potential damage they might cause, how many billion’s of dollars would it cost us and what damage would it do to our economy? Should we care? Shouldn’t we prioritize safety over economic or even humanitarian interests?
My opinion: I think that the Republican Presidential Candidates and Governors who are making political hay out the current migrant crisis and the terrorist incidents in Europe are cowards. They are either completely unable to gauge risks and understand true threats to the US, or they are pandering to the least common denominator and whipping up a xenophobic frenzy in an attempt to consolidate control of the US government. The fact that so many of the Republican base are susceptible to this fear mongering is disappointing in the extreme. I keep asking myself where they intend to take this country.