Why Donald Trump’s Test for Immigrants Won’t Work

Donald Trump proposed an ideological test for immigrants, one that would allow in “only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society.” Is it possible to implement a test like that

.. The practical reality is that you are dealing with people who, if they’re fairly sophisticated, are going to almost immediately learn what to say. So unless you intend to tie them to a polygraph, which is a notoriously uncertain device, you’re assuming that you are basically only going to catch the inexperienced or the stupid.

.. more and more extremist organizations are shifting to people who don’t come from a suspect country.

.. What you’re essentially saying is that if somebody is already sophisticated, educated, understands Western values, has money and comes from a country where they have no urgent reason to enter the U.S., they’re probably going to easily slip through. That is very odd criteria for a nation of immigrants. What do we do, change that plaque on the side of the Statue of Liberty?

.. in this campaign people keep using ISIS as a term for virtually all terrorism.

.. ISIS is actually a fairly small percentage of global terrorism, and it’s a fairly limited percentage of even Islamist extremist terrorism.

.. It then exploited the fact that Nouri al-Maliki, who came to office during the Bush administration, basically chose to promote both himself and Shiites at the expense of Sunnis in western Iraq and alienated so many of them that when what became ISIS invaded, there was very little resistance.

.. None of this had anything to do with the Obama administration. I think it is unfair to say that it somehow was a product of the Bush administration. The fact is that Saddam Hussein created the divided Iraq where the moment you remove the dictator, all of the divisions became critical.

.. Mr. Trump said that “we should have kept the oil in Iraq.” Could the United States have done that?

Under international law that would’ve been illegal by every possible standard.

You can’t go in to liberate a country and then somehow steal its most important resource. That frankly is not simply illegal under international law, it directly contradicts virtually every value we have as a country.