In Unpacked, Brookings experts provide analysis of Trump administration policies and news.
THE ISSUE: On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order to suspend the entry of refugees on immigrant and non-immigrant visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States.
The Justice Department, the State Department, the intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI appear to have not been consulted in a systematic way during the development of the order.
THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Almost none of the recent terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been committed by people from the countries covered in this order.
- The order covers a huge number of people against whom we have no reason to believe would pose any real threat to the U.S.
- The Justice Department, the State Department, the intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI appear to have not been consulted in a systematic way during the development of the order.
- This order did not follow the typical interagency process for making major national security decisions for the U.S.
The order has led to significant diplomatic repercussions with for the U.S.
- The atypical process used to develop the order is likely to be the same process used to manage international crises.
Using a decision making process for critical matters that marginalizes national security is dangerous for the U.S.
People are afraid of [Mr. Trump] because he’s got a lot of power but they are also wise to the act because they find him ridiculous...Some of them thought they could flatter him, but during the past few months European and Asian leaders have realized that isn’t enough to get substantial concessions and now they are looking for leverage.
Most presidents would outline a plan to deal with Iran after the nuclear deal, or to transform NATO to cope with the threat from authoritarian states, or to resolve the trade war...But Trump is not one for detail or course correction. In his world, there was a problem, so he did something quickly. And now it’s solved. To say anything else is to suggest the unthinkable — that he is not a magician.