In an Op-Ed published on CNN.com yesterday, Brian Goebel argued that proposals to ban Muslim travel and register Muslim residents were misplaced on many grounds and should be rejected in favor of deploying law enforcement personnel to key overseas terrorist travel routes – a strategy similar to the one developed to secure maritime trade after 9/11.
In his testimony yesterday, General Kelly, the nominee for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), echoed many of these points. He indicated a willingness to look beyond President Elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric, specifically stating that he believed in speaking truth to power, tolerance, and the rule of law. In answering questions, General Kelly was skeptical of proposals to surveil mosques or register Muslims, noting that the government needs the trust of Muslim communities. He further noted that strengthening our security at home requires working with our partners overseas.
This is a promising start. Let’s hope that General Kelly adheres to these principles as he undertakes the daunting task of managing DHS. We wish him every success, and we will continue to add our voice to critical debates in an effort to promote positive policy outcomes.