Things are reaching the point where it takes a former Bush-era cabinet official, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, to go on Fox News and explain why Donald Trump’s proposals to keep Muslims out of the country are wrong.
“I think his ideas are preposterous,” Chertoff said, in a phone interview with Fox anchor Martha MacCallum, following terror attacks in Brussels. “First of all, we have a much, much tougher refugee program than the Europeans have. The problem the Europeans have is people showed up on their doorstep — hundreds of thousands, coming directly from the region. That does not happen in the U.S., we check people very carefully before we admit them as refugees.
Chertoff served as Secretary of Homeland Security during the second term of President George W. Bush, from 2005 to 2009. Before that, he had experience as a U.S. Attorney and then as a federal judge.
“In terms of the visa waiver program, we’ve recently stepped up — again, some of the vetting and reviewing of data that allows us to determine whether someone is high-risk,” he also explained. “I’m not gonna tell you it’s impossible for somebody to sneak in here. But it is much, much harder in the U.S.”
Chertoff also explained why racial and ethnic profiling would not actually work: “On the other hand, if you look historically back at people who carried out terrorist attacks in the U.S., many of them didn’t start off as Muslims. They looked just like everybody else — who was born as a Catholic or a Christian or whatever. And the idea that you can identify people who are a risk based on their religion or the way they look is completely fallacious. It’s like going after cancer with a meat axe instead of a scalpel.”