Homeland Security Secretary Gives Details on Extreme Vetting
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says the U.S. needs to do a “better job to vet” residents of seven majority-Muslim counties that the Trump administration has temporarily banned from entering the U.S.
In an interview with Morning Edition, Kelley said the “ban,” which is currently blocked by a district court order and is now being reviewed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, is “not based on religion in any way.” He says the seven countries – Iraq, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen – are unable to vet their own residents and provide “use with information that we’re comfortable with.”
Kelley said the administration is considering requiring residents of the seven countries to provide lists of the websites they’ve visited and their passwords, to enable officials “to get on those websites to see what they’re looking at.”
In addition to the websites and passwords, Kelley said his department is also considering looking at applicants’ social media use, as well as financial information and cellphone contracts.
Kelley takes the blame for the rocky rollout of the travel ban. In a hearing on February 7, he admitted that he should have prepared congressional leaders ahead of the policy’s implementation. Kelley told NPR that in the future, the rollout will include notification to select members of Congress and the press.