Amidst the national debate over the deep state embedded in the intelligence bureaucracies sabotaging the Trump presidency, career DHS officials came out with a report trying to undermine the president’s immigration moratorium from high-risk countries. The report, which was conveniently leaked to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last week, elicited the following headlines from the liberal media:
“In leaked document, the case for Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ takes another huge hit” (Greg Sargent, Washington Post).
“Homeland Security Still Doesn’t Think Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Will Work” (Huffington Post).
To begin with, if such a high-profile DHS intel report was leaked to MSNBC, why was the individual responsible for it not fired over the weekend? Where is DHS Sec. John Kelly? He was one of the first members of the Cabinet to be confirmed and should already have control over the department.
Moreover, the eight-page report actually proves the thesis we’ve formulated since my column began here at CR.
Here is the punchline of the report: “We assess that most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns.”
There you have it, folks! What this means is that the immigration threat from the Middle East is even more severe than what Trump is making it out to be, not less problematic. His detractors are trying to use this report, and clearly it was published and leaked under such a premise — to show that there is no way to vet individuals for terror links. As such, they contend that the immigration moratorium is worthless. This is a classic straw man argument. In fact, the report demonstrates why only a moratorium can help.
As we’ve said ad nauseam, the problem we face with mass migration from the Middle East is a lot more ubiquitous than a mere few individuals with known ties to official terror groups. It is a civilization problem – importing mass numbers of Sharia-adherent immigrants to the West who will then cluster in communities and cultivate a climate that sows resentment for the host country among their children. This is the enduring lesson of Europe, and yes, this is the reality demonstrated by the 88 cases of radicalized Muslim immigrant families analyzed by this DHS report.
When most of these terrorists came to the U.S. at a young age, they probably looked as cute as any other kid. There was nothing to vet … other than the parents adhering fervently to Shariah. What history has demonstrated is that the parents who are focused on settling down usually do not commit terror attacks. For example, the father will open up a deli shop in Dearborn, Mich., or Brooklyn, for example, and live a pretty quiet life. However, they will raise their kids under a culture that, by and large, is incompatible with western values. This sows resentment among the younger generation, which becomes even more disenchanted with the host country (particularly with the advent of cyber-jihad).
This is the story of the Chattanooga shooter who was brought here from Kuwait when he was 2, the New York/New Jersey bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami) who came here from Afghanistan when he was 12, and the Ohio State Somali vehicular jihadist who came here as a teenager. As the report itself recognized, most of the 88 cases they studied involved a suspect who was less than 16 years old when admitted to the country.
Therefore, this DHS report, much like a broken clock that is right twice a day, accidentally stumbled across the truth: We have an assimilation problem with many immigrants from the Middle East. The last thing you want to do, then, is to bring in more from the Middle East – to the tune of 160,000 a year – when we badly need to assimilate the record numbers that already migrated here over the past 15 years.
The real number to focus on is not the few people who will have a known paper trail linking them to terrorists from day one, but the 90-plus percent from countries like Iraq who subscribe to Shariah. That is why it was such a mistake for Trump to remove Iraq from the list; Trump should have cited this report as reason to expand the moratorium to places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Undoubtedly, there is also an element of vetting that is important — for example, in the case of Tashfeen Malik (one of the San Bernardino shooters). She should have never been admitted from Pakistan; her social media accounts and her basic biography reeked of Islamic supremacy. Then again, the people drafting these DHS reports don’t believe in vetting the supremacist mentality that cultivates the climate of terror.
Nobody disputes that if you only vet for known ISIS ties up front, many people will slip through the net. Yet, at the same time, it completely misses the point. Just ask our friends in Europe.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.