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Next Steps in Immigration and National Security: The Global Response

Next Steps in Immigration and National Security: The Global Response
James Carafano
March 29, 2017

James Carafano, a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, E. W. Richardson Fellow, and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.


Robert R. Reilly:

Dr. James Carafano is The Heritage Foundation’s Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies. Interestingly enough, he was a leader of the branding team, the transition team for the office of President-Elect Trump at the Department of Homeland Security, an institution he knows well. From 2012-2014, Dr. Carafano served on a Homeland Security Advisory council convened by the Secretary of that Department. Dr. Carafano was a career officer. He’s a West Point graduate, a place where he has also taught. [He’s a] 25-year Army veteran. He has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a PhD from Georgetown, as well as a Master’s degree in strategic- a Master’s degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College. His most recent publication is Surviving the End, which addresses emergency preparedness. If you survive it, it’s not the end, is it, Jim? I mean, I don’t mean to quibble with you on that. That’s okay. He also authored Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World, a survey of the revolutionary impact of the internet age on national security, and he co-authored a textbook, Homeland Security designed as a practical introduction to life in the era of terrorism. He’s co-authored with Paul Rosenzweig of Winning the Long War: Lessons from the Cold War for Defeating Terrorism and Preserving Freedom, which coined the term ‘the long war’, which we’ve all become accustomed to use in this long war.

As you know, tonight, he’s about- by the way, I wanted to say, of course, Jim is a wonderful writer and analyst. I was just reading his recent piece from National Review, [which was] also picked up by The Daily Signal, that pertains to his topic tonight. It’s called “Assimilation, Not ‘Integration,’ Prevents Young Immigrants from Turning to Terrorism.” I recommend that article to you. His topic tonight is, “Next Steps in Immigration and National Security: The Global Response.” Please join me in welcoming Dr. Carafano.

James Carafano:

What I’d like to do is touch on three things and then kind of throw it open and I didn’t actually think that I would ever have a career as a Trump-splainer, but apparently that’s my job these days, so I’m happy to kind of talk about how the administration is settling in from my perspective and kind of what they’re doing or planning on doing and how things are shaping up, so I’m happy to kind of talk about that because apparently that’s all people want to talk about these days.

We were in Fiji, right? Fiji is the end of the Earth, right? Because when you get there all you can do is start to come back and we were in a cab and a cab driver goes, “What is it with Trump? What’s his problem?” And were like, “Dude, we’re in Fiji. What- Why do you care? I mean, this is-,” so, you know, you can’t get away from it anywhere, but-

So I want to talk about three things. I want to offer up three propositions and then explain what I really mean, so I don’t think border security is really a terrorist-national security problem, I don’t think immigration is really a terrorist-national security problem, and I don’t refugees are really a terrorist-national security problem. So why do I say that and does that mean I don’t care about any of those things and doing them right? And the answer is no, actually I care a lot. Start with the border and oftentimes, you know, since 9/11 when we frame the issue about border security – and we’re really talking about the southern border – you know, people say we have to secure our border because, you know, terrorists might walk across that and, you know, we have a lot of concerns at the southern border but actually, we haven’t seen a tremendous amount of verified activity, but what- and essentially, what we have seen is- we have seen terrorists try to come to the United States and the- you pick a way that somebody can try and come here and a terrorist has tried that, whether it’s being smuggled in a shipping container or trying to traipse across a border or get a visa or anything else, right? So if your answer is well, we have to close that off, otherwise a terrorist might come here. Then if you follow that logic, nobody could ever come to the United States.

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