Study Proves Trump’s Travel Ban Is Ridiculous as a Method to Prevent Terrorism

You are 750,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than to be killed by a refugee terrorist.

Kris Kobach, anti-immigration adviser
Photo Credit: Fox News

Kris Kobach, anti-immigration adviser to President Trump, told Fox News Wednesday that Trump’s forthcoming second executive order to ban refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries “is even better and more unassailable than the first."  

"These programs have been abused by terrorists who know that, hey, if you can come in as a refugee to the United States, you get a green card, and can go back and forth to Afghanistan or wherever for terrorist training," said Kobach, who is the Secretary of State of Kansas. He claimed to have a list of "18 terrorists who have used our refugee program in the past couple decades,” but he didn’t share it.

The best recent study on the topic is a 2016 report by the libertarian Cato Institute, which found there were 154 foreign-born terrorists who engaged in fatal attacks in the United States from 1975 to 2015. Twenty of these terrorists were refugees. Collectively those 20 people were responsible for killing a total of three people.

Thus the annual likelihood that an American will be killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee is, according to Cato’s Alex Nowrasteh, approximately “1 in 3.64 billion.”

By comparison, the annual likelihood that an American will die in an automobile crash is about 1 in 48,000. As Politico’s Ted Hesson says, “Maybe we need to start deporting Subarus.”

Jefferson Morley is AlterNet's Washington correspondent. He is the author of the forthcoming biography The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton (St. Martin's Press, October 2017).

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