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An Immigration Attorney Fact Checks the Second Presidential Debate

The Second Presidential Debate once again lacked specific policy provisions for each candidate's immigration plan.

The obvious exception was the discussion about Trump's previous promise to temporarily ban all muslims that he refers to as "extreme vetting." Sunday night, Trump expanded on this notion stating that his plan would temporarily suspendimmigration from regions that export terrorism and possibly that he would allow some immigration of muslims provided that they face additional screening.

It should first be noted that immigrants looking to come to the United States legally from countries that are known to harbor terrorists face a litany of additional screening processes already. For example, a Syrian Refugee will face 18 -24 months of intense screening before he or she is admitted to the United States. During the screening process, Syrian Refugees stay in UNHCR Refugee Camps, anxiously awaiting placement in a safe country. Our country already has a lot of safeguards in place to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S. Here is an infographic published by the U.S. Federal Government explaining the Refugee Screening Process:

The Screening Process for Refugee Entry into the U.S.

Is our current vetting process effective? There are varying answers to this question. Some say that we have had very few terrorist-related arrests and no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by Syrian Refugees in recent memory. Others point to the involvement of Syrian Refugees in the recent Paris bombings along with proof that ISIS has, and continues to, attempt to infiltrate the Refugee system in order to get into the U.S. and other Western Nations to commit future terrorist attacks.

One thing is clear, although America continues to witness horrific acts of terror on its' own soil, 55 of the 68 people indicted over alleged ISIS ties were born in U.S. and none came from Syria (of the remaining 13: 6 were born in Bosnia, 4 in Uzbekistan, 3 in Somalia and 2 were born in Sudan). Read more about this here.

What is important here is to realize that the fact that so many domestic-born Americans have engaged in such horrific acts against their fellow American citizens is evidence of a much larger issue here at home. An issue, that I truly believe, needs to take a good look at the mental health of terrorist actors here and abroad.

I agree with Mr. Trump that we need to ensure that our borders are safe and that our people are not at risk, but in order to do that we need to really understand why people want to attack us in the first place and how we can stop it at the source. It is easy to scapegoat a particular religion or group of people, but pointing fingers does not solve the problem at hand.