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President Donald Trump should move on to careful vetting

President Donald Trump signs a revised travel ban

President Donald Trump signs a revised travel ban in Washington on March 6, 2017. Credit: Sean Spicer / Twitter

After a federal judge in Hawaii froze the president’s second attempt at a travel ban, Donald Trump responded with troubling words that only highlighted the problems with his efforts to deny entry to citizens from six Muslim-majority nations and refugees.

The new ban, he said, was a “watered-down version” of his first executive order, that was rejected by federal judges. “I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said. “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

In reality, none of that is clear. Trump still has not made a case for either the supposed threat or the urgency to address it. His administration’s own data show that of more than 300 terrorism-related investigations involving refugees, at least 70 percent of the people are from countries not included in the new ban. And given the dearth of terrorist acts committed by anyone from the countries named in the new ban, there is little evidence that the nation’s already-tough vetting process is not strict enough.

The rhetoric by Trump and his surrogates about a Muslim ban makes it very difficult for them to argue that any version of it will survive a constitutional challenge. The purpose of the “temporary” ban was to buy time to tighten vetting procedures. So do that and take it from there. The rest is just a sad charade. — The editorial board


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