President Trump’s campaign promise of “extreme vetting” led to the creation, by executive order, of something called the National Vetting Center, which is a redundant and useless since there are already several rigorous systems in place that screen those who wish to enter the United States.
Because the newly created center is redundant and useless, existing vetting structures have no idea how to interact with it. The president and his administration, naturally, have offered no clarity on the matter.
From the Washington Post:
“I don’t know why you would want to duplicate something that has already been built when we already have the National Targeting Center, which does and is capable of doing serious vetting with respect to any foreign national seeking to enter the United States,” said Robert Bonner, a former U.S. attorney who led U.S. Customs and Border Protection under President George W. Bush and established the center. [...]
A report published this month by the libertarian Cato Institute found that U.S. security agencies already practice “extreme vetting” and have been highly successful at stopping terrorist plots and potential attacks.
“I would argue it’s quite extreme as it currently exists,” said David Bier, the report’s author. He said the only post-9/11 instance of a “vetting failure” was San Bernardino attacker Tashfeen Malik, whose extremist views went unnoticed during her visa application process.
“The threat to American lives as a result of vetting failure in post-9/11 America is incredibly small,” Bier said, “so the idea that we should invest a billion dollars in a new center to prevent such a small risk doesn’t make sense.” You think!
The Trump administration announced plans for the NVC back in February, defending its right to exist by noting that, “current vetting efforts are ad hoc, which impedes our ability to keep up with today’s threats.”
It bears repeating that where “today’s threats” actually come from don’t match up with Trump’s bigoted paranoia: Not a single refugee from the countries Trump demands such extreme vetting from have killed anyone in a terrorist attack on American soil.
The February memo went on to say, “The NVC will better coordinate these activities in a central location, enabling officials to further leverage critical intelligence and law enforcement information to identify terrorists, criminals, and other nefarious actors trying to enter and remain within our country.”
It seems as though the most reasonable explanation for the development of the redundant National Vetting Center is just ‘cuz it’s racist. Perhaps Trump simply wants a shiny new thing he can call his own, complete with his own brand of bigotry and paranoia. Sad!