On September 11, 2001, a ragtag terrorist organization attacked us through our immigration system, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. We simply let in people we should not have admitted and allowed them to work with networks within this country of other people who should not have been let in. We responded by making the problem worse and increasing migration from those countries without any system to vet incoming immigrants.
Our government’s response to what should have been treated primarily as an immigration and national security problem was to sacrifice thousands of lives and trillions of dollars nation-building on behalf of various tribes fighting each other in the Middle East, empowering Iran, and clamping down on civil liberties at airports – all the while ignoring our visa system and doubling immigration from the Middle East. One could not possibly conjure up a more backward, more counter-intuitive array of policies than the way we have prosecuted the war on terror for the past 18 years.