On Tuesday, publications from the New York Post to Breitbart fixated on the fact that suspected perpetrator Abdul Razak Ali Artan originally came to the U.S. as a Somali Muslim refugee. “Luckily, America now has a leader who has promised to tackle the threat of Islamic terror,” Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopolus wrote. “Trump is already making great strides as president-elect, but he must deliver on his promise to freeze Muslim immigration.” The Conservative Review added to the chorus: “[Trump] has a mandate to shut off refugee resettlement from the Middle East and can act upon it on day one of his administration.”
In August, Trump announced his policy of “extreme immigrant vetting,” which would introduce stringent restrictions (though the U.S. already has some of the strictest vetting procedures in the world) based on an applicant’s values and beliefs, ranging from gay rights to religious freedom. He has also supported a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. And at a campaign event in Minnesota days before the election, Trump described “problems caused with faulty refugee vetting” of Somali refugees in particular, with “very large numbers ... coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval.”
It is, in fact, in the president-elect’s full power to drastically alter immigration policy as soon as he is inaugurated, according the Immigration and Nationality Act:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may ... suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.