The Flawed Logic of Trump's Executive Order

How Not to Fight Terrorism

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order imposing a four-month travel ban on refugees entering the United States and a 90-day hold on travelers from Syria, Iran and five other Muslim-majority countries at the Pentagon in Washington, January 2017. Carlos Barria / REUTERS

Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order freezing entry into the United States for citizens from seven countries for 120 days. The action led to protests at airports in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities, where refugees—including legal permanent residents—were detained. Later that day, a federal judge came to the aid of many of those trapped by issuing a ruling that blocked some of Trump’s actions.

Politicians on both sides of the political divide have criticized the order as haphazardly implemented and chaos-inducing. And, indeed, poor execution on immigration reforms does put the United States very much at risk, especially its soldiers and citizens abroad. Its execution aside, the logic of the president’s action was also flawed. The idea that keeping refugees and Muslim visitors out of the United States will decrease terrorist attacks ignores how many such attacks—here

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