President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Feb. 6 to calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, in conjunction with secretary of state, attorney general, and director of national intelligence to establish a National Vetting Center.
“The United States must protect its people from terrorist attacks and other public safety threats,” the memo stated. “Vetting procedures associated with determining whether individuals pose threats to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety play a critical role in meeting this obligation.”
It further stated that it is U.S. policy to collect timely information on individuals applying for visas or other immigration benefits or status.
“The National Vetting Center will support unprecedented work by DHS and the entire U.S. intelligence community to keep terrorists, violent criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our shores,” said DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen in a statement released Feb. 6. “This is yet another step towards knowing who is coming to the United States—that they are who they say they are and that they do not pose a threat to our nation.”
A statement from the White House press office noted the “ad hoc” nature of U.S. vetting efforts which it said “impedes our ability to keep up with today’s threats.”
The memorandum said involved agencies have six months to assemble an implementation plan for the center.
Also on Feb. 6, Trump and Nielsen participated in a law enforcement roundtable, which included members of law enforcement as well as members of Congress to discuss immigration and the MS-13 gang,
“During my State of the Union, I called on Congress to close the immigration loopholes that have allowed this deadly gang to break so easily into our country,” Trump said. “As Congress considers immigration reform, it’s essential that we listen to the law enforcement professionals in this room today.”
What followed was a detailed discussion of the threat posed by MS-13, many of whom are in the country illegally. Read the entire transcript of the roundtable here.
As the meeting wrapped up, the president was asked if he would shut down the government over the issue.
“I can’t speak for everybody at the table, but I will tell you, I would shut it down over this issue,” he said. “If we don’t straighten out our border, we don’t have a country.”
© 2018 Homeland411
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