SEVERE WX : Heat Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump admin touts stats linking immigration to terror

The Trump administration released a new analysis Tuesday claiming that 73% of those convicted of "international terro...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 10:50 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 10:50 AM

The Trump administration released a new analysis Tuesday claiming that 73% of those convicted of "international terrorism-related charges" in US federal courts following the attacks on September 11, 2001, were "foreign-born," attempting to draw a causal connection between hotly debated immigration policies disfavored by President Donald Trump and acts of terrorism.

But the threadbare, 11-page document raised more questions than it supplied answers about what exactly the Trump administration seeks to conclude from the snapshot of data released to the public in the midst of a protracted immigration fight on Capitol Hill.

The Department of Homeland Security focused on 549 individuals convicted of offenses between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016. But it included terrorist acts committed abroad (though it didn't say exactly how many), doesn't provide a breakdown of how many individuals were arrested for acts committed on US soil and doesn't explain how many foreign nationals were radicalized only after entering the US.

Instead, the report states only that at the time of conviction, 254 of the 549 individuals "were not US citizens," 148 "were foreign-born, naturalized and received US citizenship" and 147 "were U.S. citizens by birth." The document partially acknowledged its own limitations, however, saying the analysis "does not include individuals convicted of offenses relating to domestic terrorism, nor does it include information related to terrorism-related convictions in state courts."

The figures provided in the report -- blasted out to the media by Homeland Security and the Justice Department on Tuesday morning -- were originally supposed to be released last year under Trump's derailed second executive order, which restricted travel for certain nationals of several Muslim-majority countries. On a call with reporters, a senior administration official acknowledged the report was "overdue," said the timing was "coincidental" with the ongoing immigration debate in Congress and the data had simply taken longer to aggregate than expected.

Trump touted it via Twitter, tying it to the immigration fight.

"New report from DOJ & DHS shows that nearly 3 in 4 individuals convicted of terrorism-related charges are foreign-born. We have submitted to Congress a list of resources and reforms ... we need to keep America safe, including moving away from a random chain migration and lottery system, to one that is merit-based," the President tweeted.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called the findings of the report "chilling" during an oversight hearing with lawmakers Tuesday, suggesting it was "likely just the tip of the iceberg," but she did not provide additional evidence. She singled out the case of a diversity visa lottery recipient from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty to conspiring to support ISIS in 2015 after posting a threat against President Barack Obama online.

The White House wants to stop immigrants coming to the US based on family connections through so-called, "chain migration," and end the diversity immigrant visa program. But the DHS analysis provides no firm figures on how many of the 549 individuals at issue entered the US through those programs, only providing eight "illustrative examples."

Some national security experts say this type of analysis -- zeroing in on where a terrorist was born -- focuses on the wrong question.

The better question is "where did they radicalize," said Joshua Geltzer, the former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and current executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center.

"If we're letting in already-radicalized people," then immigration policies "might well be worth blaming," Geltzer said. "But it seems from what's publicly available that we're letting in totally normal people who qualify for our entry standards and who then in rare cases radicalize -- just as some US-born folks unfortunately do. This sets up a way to blame the immigration system for something it can't possibly do: address radicalization that can occur on our soil to US-born and non-US-born individuals alike."

A CNN review of the eight examples DHS provided in its report shows several of the individuals had lived in the US for many years before committing the terror-related offenses they were eventually convicted for in federal court. Court filings do not indicate that most were radicalized overseas, leaving open the possibility that many radicalized after arriving in the US.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Few Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 67°
Fayetteville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 67°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7186174
Mobile5206147
Montgomery4690114
Tuscaloosa277754
Madison27299
Marshall209012
Shelby182026
Lee171637
Morgan14296
Baldwin139611
Walker112635
DeKalb11187
Etowah110414
Elmore110124
Dallas102810
Franklin96016
Unassigned81428
Russell7340
Autauga73317
Chambers69332
Limestone6914
Cullman6896
Houston6587
Butler65631
St. Clair6463
Tallapoosa64669
Lauderdale6337
Colbert5826
Calhoun5776
Escambia5228
Lowndes49723
Pike4915
Jackson4722
Coffee4534
Covington43913
Talladega4337
Dale4142
Barbour4133
Bullock38010
Hale36723
Marengo36411
Chilton3563
Blount3441
Marion33214
Clarke3296
Wilcox3258
Winston3157
Sumter30413
Pickens2806
Randolph27910
Monroe2773
Perry2632
Conecuh2478
Bibb2322
Macon2279
Choctaw22112
Greene2019
Henry1613
Washington1588
Lawrence1510
Crenshaw1403
Cherokee1357
Geneva1060
Lamar951
Clay922
Fayette902
Coosa691
Cleburne531
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 66788

Reported Deaths: 767
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby14447229
Davidson14205155
Rutherford383939
Hamilton364838
Sumner210357
Williamson199016
Knox181512
Out of TN173711
Trousdale15135
Wilson127517
Putnam10917
Bradley10615
Unassigned10511
Robertson98413
Sevier9424
Montgomery8507
Tipton7277
Lake6960
Macon6527
Bedford6359
Bledsoe6341
Hamblen5144
Maury5133
Hardeman4564
Madison3952
Fayette3936
Rhea3620
Blount3583
Loudon3342
Dyer3103
McMinn30719
Cheatham3013
Dickson2950
Washington2930
Sullivan2775
Lawrence2596
Cumberland2285
Anderson2192
Gibson2171
Lauderdale2044
Jefferson1961
Smith1872
Warren1640
Greene1632
Monroe1566
Coffee1550
Cocke1520
Haywood1503
Hardin1427
Marshall1322
Giles1311
Obion1313
McNairy1261
Wayne1260
Franklin1243
Carter1202
Hickman1140
Lincoln1060
DeKalb1000
Hawkins1002
Marion1004
Roane940
White943
Henderson900
Chester830
Weakley811
Claiborne800
Overton801
Campbell751
Crockett713
Grundy672
Unicoi610
Cannon600
Grainger590
Carroll581
Polk570
Henry560
Sequatchie530
Humphreys522
Jackson520
Johnson490
Perry440
Meigs400
Decatur390
Morgan341
Stewart320
Scott300
Fentress290
Union290
Clay270
Houston240
Moore230
Benton171
Hancock120
Lewis120
Van Buren110
Pickett80

 

 

Community Events