Let’s see what’s new on the immigration front:

The Obama administration has eased the rules for would-be asylum-seekers, refugees, and others who hope to come to the United States or stay here and who gave “limited” support to terrorists or terrorist groups.

The change is one of President Obama’s first actions on immigration since he pledged during his State of the Union address last month to use more executive directives.

The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department now say that people considered to have provided “limited material support” to terrorists or terrorist groups are no longer automatically barred from the United States.

A post-Sept. 11 provision in immigrant law, known as terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds, had affected anyone considered to have given support. With little exception, the provision has been applied rigidly to those trying to enter the United States and those already here but wanting to change their immigration status.

I’m sure that’s going to go over well with Republicans:

Republican lawmakers argued that the administration is relaxing rules designed by Congress to protect the country from terrorists.

Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the change naive given today’s global terrorist threats.

Let’s look at a couple possible cases: a terrorist group kidnaps a family member and they pay the ransom; a family lives in a region controlled by terrorists who impose a tax on the residents (I wonder what would happen if they don’t pay). In both cases, the family has ‘supported’ terrorists but I hope Bob doesn’t think they should be automatically barred. It’s naïve to believe there are no situations in this world where perfectly good people are forced to ‘support’ terrorists–is Goodlatte naïve or is he cynically using the issue for political purposes? Not a tough call.

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