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San Bernardino police chief: Trump's travel ban doesn't make city safer




San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan speaks with the media regarding the shooting that left 14 dead at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan speaks with the media regarding the shooting that left 14 dead at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, California.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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A lot changed in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015.

Fourteen people died and dozens of others were injured when a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire during a party at the Inland Regional Center.

In the days that followed, we learned that Farook was a U.S. citizen. His wife was a native Pakistani living in Saudi Arabia. She'd obtained residency here after marrying Farook.

Six days after the attack, then-candidate Donald Trump called for a total ban on all Muslims entering the country.

https://youtu.be/-sz0KY-3PbQ?t=29s

That would become a major talking point in the discourse that would follow. 

Although it falls short of a total ban, President Trump wasted no time signing an executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

Will this help prevent attacks like the one in San Bernardino? Police Chief Jarrod Burguan isn't sure. But he says the speed at which Trump acted put him on his heels: 

"I think it's fair to say that it surprised me a little bit at how quickly he did," Burguan says. "One would normally think that there would be a lot more debate about a move like that." 

Burguan says he is in favor of a "strong" immigration policy, and believes a good vetting process could increase the safety of the country. He stopped short of saying whether he supported the ban.

The Chief noted the order does nothing to prevent homegrown terror and self-radicalized attackers. And he said the temporary travel ban would have likely done little to prevent the San Bernardino attackers from entering the country. 

"The female suspect in our case had immigrated [to] the United States a year before with an immigration visa to essentially marry her fiance, who was the male suspect in this case," Burguan said. "He was a U.S. citizen. She was of Pakistani origin, and as people have asked me about this particular ban, of course, Pakistan is not on the list of these countries. So it doesn't have a direct impact."

Nor does Burguan think the executive order will reduce the risk for those living in San Bernardino.

"I don't think this particular immigration ban from certain countries does anything specifically to make San Bernardino safer," Burguan said. 

Click on the blue bar above to listen to the full conversation with San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.