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Kellyanne Conway, the newly-named counselor to President-elect Donald Trump, said the incoming Administration will not develop policies triggering heightened security based on an individual’s religious affiliation. She said Mr. Trump’s policies will instead focus on heightened vetting for individuals from terrorism-producing countries.

Before the election, the media focused relentlessly on statements suggesting Mr. Trump would ban the immigration of Muslims solely based on their religion. In an interview, CNN's Chris Cuomo pressed Conway on the matter. She said, "No. You're going back to over a year ago in what he said about the (Muslim) ban versus what he said later about it, when he made it much more specific and talked about countries where we know that they've got a higher propensity of training and exporting terrorists."

In a subsequent interview with CNBC, Conway said the terrorist attack on a Berlin Christmas market this week demonstrates why the U.S. should conduct "extreme vetting." She said, "[Trump] wants to have more extreme vetting in place in [for] countries that harbor and train and export terrorists…This is simple to understand. You go where the hot spots are, you go where the training is, you go where people are looking to do harm and bring death and destruction on civilized people."

The Islamic State called the Berlin attacker, who killed eleven, a “soldier” of the terrorist group. The prime suspect in the attack is a Tunisian national who Germany had scheduled for deportation after rejecting his asylum application. That deportation was stymied by Tunisia holding back the paperwork necessary for repatriation.

In an apparent effort to set back Mr. Trump’s plans for ‘extreme vetting,’ the Obama administration today terminated a post 9/11 entry/exit system that provided for heightened screening of people from terror-producing countries. The National Security Entry-Exit System (NSEERS), created in 2002, established port-of-entry registration and domestic registration for aliens from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, The United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The Obama Administration largely discontinued NSEERS use in 2011 when it began to implement US VISIT. But US VISIT never deployed the exit checks necessary to determine whether visitors overstayed their visa. By terminating NSEERS the Obama Administration forces President-elect Trump to recreate any of the program's tools he finds useful rather than revive an existing program.

Read more in CNN.

National Security
entry/exit system
visa overstays
Asylum

Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 4:14pm EDT