Trump’s Executive Order Will Allow Americans To Know More About Terrorism Caused By Immigrants
The Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama refused to give U.S. senators the immigration statuses of individuals implicated in terrorism, making it impossible to know how much terrorism was caused by refugees, illegal immigrants, or legal immigrants. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday requiring this information to be released.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans, sent several letters between 2015 and 2016 to the Department of Justice to get the immigration status of individuals implicated in terrorism. The DOJ referred the senators to the DHS, which subsequently denied them the information.
The Senate subcommittee on immigration and the national interest, of which both Sen. Sessions and Sen. Cruz are apart of, used publicly available information and found that more than half of the individuals convicted of terrorism between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2014 were foreign born. However, they weren’t able to find any immigration information on 129 individuals, making the picture less than clear.
The senators were also unable to get the immigration statuses of many individuals implicated in terrorism in more recent terror cases. Their subcommittee did find that at least 49.6 percent of individuals implicated in terrorism from March 2014 to July 2016 were either foreign-born or the children of immigrants.
The executive order signed by President Trump Friday calls for “transparency and data collection.” This effort means that within 180 days of the order being signed the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the attorney general, will make information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses publicly available. This will allow the public to definitively know how much terrorism is caused by immigrants.
The same executive order also calls for the DHS to reveal statistics on honor killings committed by immigrants every six months.
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