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Current immigration system jeopardises US security: White House

The Trump administration today said the current immigration system jeopardises the US’ national security, reiterating its call to end the chain migration and visa lottery system.

world Updated: Jan 16, 2018 23:41 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Washington
Immigration,US,US immigration
The White House said a significant number of terrorists have entered the US solely on the basis of family ties and extended-family chain migration.(AP File Photo)

The Trump administration today said the current immigration system jeopardises the US’ national security, reiterating its call to end the chain migration and visa lottery system.

“By failing to impose meaningful selection criteria, such as skills or likelihood to assimilate, our current family- based system is incompatible with national security,” the White House said.

The remarks came soon after the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security released a new report showing three out of every four convicted terrorists entered the US through the current immigration system.

“President Trump sent a list of priorities designed to enhance public safety and national security to Congress last October, which included the elimination of the visa lottery programme and extended-family chain migration,” the White House said, adding that the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security have repeatedly explained that the current immigration system compromises US national security.

The report, produced at the direction of Trump, found that approximately three out of every four individuals convicted of terrorism-related charges between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016 are foreign-born individuals who entered the US through its immigration system.

The White House said a significant number of terrorists have entered the US solely on the basis of family ties and extended-family chain migration.

For instance, Mufid Elfgeeh, who benefited from chain migration, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for attempting to recruit fighters for ISIS.

Terrorists have also entered the US through the visa lottery programme, the White House said.

While the report does not contain information regarding the number of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses committed by individuals who are the children of foreign-born individuals, the White House said terrorist attacks carried out by children of foreign-born individuals include the attack in Orlando by Omar Mateen, which killed 49 people and the attack in San Bernadino, California by Syed Rizwan Farook, which killed 14 people and injured 22 others.

The report also found that in FY 2017, DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watchlist who had attempted to enter and infiltrate the United States.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 23:41 IST