Terrorism to the US is imported? 3 out of every 4 convicted on terror charges in the US were foreign-born
Washington, Jan 16: Three out of every four persons convicted of terrorism-related charges between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born, the Trump administration said in a report today buttressing its case for stronger border security and tough immigration laws.
The joint report – released by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security – does not give a country-wise breakup of these foreign-born individuals involved in terrorism-related cases inside the US. But it lists out at least one India-born individual Khaleel Ahmed, who was sentenced in 2010 to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
The report is as per the direction of President Donald Trump who signed an executive order in this regard last year.
Section 11 of his Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the US had directed a series of actions to enhance the security and safety of the American people.
Trump has been seeking an end to diversity visa and chain migration and immigration based on merit.
According to the report, between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBIs Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the US.
“This report reveals an indisputable sobering realityour immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” said Attorney General Jefferson Sessions.
The information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg, he said.
“We currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees,” he said.
Sessions said it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while the US admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds.
“The pillars of President Trump’s immigration policy
securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nations laws will make their jobs easier and make the US a safer place,” he said.
The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in US federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016.
An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 per cent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.
Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that 254 were not US citizens; 148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received US citizenship; and 147 were US citizens by birth.
Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea, the report said.
From October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-US citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, it said.
During that same period, a total of 372,098 non-US citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies.
Between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2016, CBP identified and prevented the boarding of 73,261 foreign travelers on flights destined for the United States, who may have presented an immigration or security risk, the report said.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the report is a clear reminder of why the US cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves it woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists.