Over at the CIS blog, David Seminara notes a practical problem with the Trump proposal that I hadn’t yet come across:
Converting consular officers into arbiters of faith is preposterous enough, but in order to carry out Trump’s plan, we’d have to drag airline and border officials into this un-American swamp as well. There are more than a million Muslims living in visa waiver countries — most in Europe — who don’t need a visa to enter the United States. If an airline knowingly allows a passenger to board a U.S.-bound aircraft who they should have known would be denied entry, the airline has to pay to repatriate the person. That is why airline officials check passports and visas before giving out boarding passes.
And so if a Muslim from France steps up to the United counter at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to check in for a flight to New York, the United employee would need to ask this passenger, and indeed anyone else he or she suspected could be a Muslim, about their faith, as would DHS border officials at our ports of entry.