During the 2016 campaign, candidate Trump repeatedly promised “extreme vetting” to prevent dangerous people from coming to the United States. This week, as the new National Vetting Center begins limited operations, America is getting a first glimpse at what “extreme vetting” will look like in practice. The jury is out on whether it will actually make America any safer.
The Center was established in February by National Security Presidential Memorandum-9, set up under an implementation plan approved in August (here’s a redacted version posted Dec. 12), and quietly began operating this week. DHS officials say it will improve the security of our travel, immigration, and trade infrastructure. Its early operations will focus on streamlining the vetting of travelers eligible for the Visa Waiver Program—primarily from Europe—but the Center will soon expand operations in ways that are not clear to the American public.This article was originally published in Defense One.