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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Professor Douglas Kmiec discusses Syrian refugee immigration in The World Post op-ed

November 20, 2015 -- An op-ed piece by Professor Douglas Kmiec, U.S. Amb. (ret), entitled "Showing Refugees the Door ... Marked 'Welcome,' That Is," appeared in The World Post today.

From "Showing Refugees the Door":

The ISIS rampage through Paris was barbaric, but the penalty for it ought not be paid by refugees.

Unlike indifferent Rand Paul libertarians or Donald Trump isolationists, an adequate response must be more than crudely xenophobic. Since it must also not be illogically punitive, what is written here will not likely satisfy the Republicans who think slamming the door on the populations "yearning to breathe free" somehow doesn't contradict those celebrated words on the pedestal of Lady Liberty. In brief, this essay assumes that an hermetically sealed police state would be a cure as bad or worse than the illness. Nor will you find support for House and Senate Democrats who feel compelled to do something in response to GOP pandering to panic - especially when the "something" is taking apart a highly successful Visa Waiver Program that allows bona fide passport holders from U.S.-approved countries to travel to the U.S. for short but important trade and exchange programs, not to mention U.S. tourism. That action, while not cataclysmic imposes unnecessary limitations on hundreds of thousands of travelers.

Actions that limit the freedom and opportunities of America and the civilized world in order to catch barbarians in a dragnet need more work not enactment into law - even as the exclusionary House vote may be claimed a rare moment of bipartisanship. As President Obama has indicated, elaborate review of refugees for admittance into the United States is already far and away more complex and thorough than almost any other governmental process. To now add another level of database investigation and certification simply adds to delay....

The article continues on The World Post.