Larry Kudlow, a conservative economist and self-described "immigration reformer," began his column with what reads like a confession: "I know this is not my usual position."
Then he followed it with a blunt declaration: "But this is a war."
Kudlow noted in his National Review column that in the past he's favored immigration reform over immigration restrictions — except now the stakes are too high.
"Therefore I have come to believe there should be no immigration or visa waivers until the U.S. adopts a completely new system to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country," he wrote in the piece titled "I’ve Changed. This Is War. Seal the Borders. Stop the Visas."
Kudlow added that Islamic State militants "are already here. More are coming. We must stop them." He also said he wants to borders sealed "until FBI director James Comey gives us the green light ..."
More from Kudlow:
Here’s what we must do: Completely reform the vetting process for immigrants and foreign visitors. Change the screening process. Come up with a new visa-application review process. Stop this nonsense of marriage-visa fraud. And in the meantime, seal the borders. I agree with Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, who argued many of these points in excellent detail on the National Review website on Friday.
Kudlow also made sure to distinguish his desire for immigration restrictions from Donald Trump's "big mistake," noting that his position isn't based on religion. "Instead," he wrote, "I agree with this Rupert Murdoch tweet: 'Complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense.'”
And that means people from everywhere. "There may be some unfairness to this," Kudlow admitted. "But I don’t care. Wars breed unfairness, just as they breed collateral damage."
More from Kudlow:
We may set back tourism. We may anger Saudi princes whose kids are in American schools. But so be it. We need a wartime footing if we are going to protect the American homeland.
Of course, President Obama doesn’t get it. He never will. Already we should have led NATO into a declaration of war against ISIS. Already we should have pushed a resolution of war against ISIS through the UN Security Council. Already we should have convened meetings with our Mideast allies to formally declare war against ISIS. Already the U.S. Congress should have issued a formal declaration of war against ISIS.
The president had his last chance last Sunday night. And he didn’t do it. He is not a wartime commander in chief. In fact, he is not a commander in chief.
Kudlow declared that any effort to destroy the Islamic State should apparent in our leaders' demeanor — and that they "must communicate a sense of urgency and energy" and "rally the country."
He concluded his piece in this way:
I don’t believe a visa or immigration lockdown here in the U.S. will solve the Islamic terrorist threat. Many other steps must be taken. And I am not suggesting this in the name of religious profiling. Instead, I am hardening my position on immigration because we are at war and I fear we may be losing this war.
My shift in thinking comes from a deep desire to strengthen homeland security. Hopefully an immigration freeze will not be in place for very long. But for now I believe we must do it. (By the way, keeping America safe is a prerequisite for growth.)
And let me add, as I have in the past, if the U.S. has the will, the urgency, and the energy to destroy ISIS, then we will destroy ISIS.
(H/T: National Review)
This story has been updated.
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