“It is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be imprisoned,” goes the adage. It refers to the standard of justice in the U.S. court system.

But it shouldn’t be applied to federal immigration policy, as some might suggest.

On the issue of Syrian refugees, the protection of the citizenry must be the highest priority. That means a serious overhaul of the vetting system for refugees, which has come into question.

Last year, FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach outlined the challenge, noting “the concern in Syria is that we don’t have the systems in places on the ground to collect the information. … All of the data sets, the police, the intel services that normally you would go and seek that information (from) don’t exist,” according to The Washington Times.

If ISIS is crushed, its members essentially will scatter to the four winds in a new “terrorist diaspora,” FBI Director James Comey recently told Congress. Many will try to make their way into the United States.

That’s a frightening scenario, given that Islamic militants already have killed 63 Americans on U.S. soil in the past year. Never mind reports that about 750 immigrants who were ordered deported instead were granted citizenship.

The federal government needs to slow down refugee immigration screening, not speed it up, as President Obama and Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have proposed. National security must be the foremost consideration.


(c)2016 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

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