Internal Data Undercut Arguments for Trump Travel Ban

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At least two sets of internal data that have been available to the Trump administration but that have never been publicized appear to undercut the government’s argument for a travel ban that it had hoped would take effect yesterday, the Washington Post reports. One report, “Most Foreign-Born US-Based Violent Extremists Radicalized After Entering Homeland,” analyzed 90 cases involving suspected or confirmed foreign-born terrorists, finding that most of them probably embraced extremist ideology after they arrived in the U.S., not before. Another report, drawn on classified FBI data, has been used by the Trump administration to bolster its claims that refugees pose a risk of terrorism. The figures that are the basis for that report undermine a key premise of the travel ban, with most of the suspects cited in the report coming from countries unaffected by President Trump’s executive order.

Taken together, the two reports show there is a significant amount of internal government data that suggests the travel ban Trump wants to implement is not likely to be effective in curbing the threat of terrorism in the U.S. White House spokesman Michael Short said the justification for the travel ban is “not in any way diminished by these selective and potentially criminal leaks being carried out by disgruntled government officials. The president is 100 percent committed to keeping this country safe from terrorism, and that’s exactly what this order will help achieve.’’ The new travel ban did not take effect yesterday, after a federal judge in Hawaii issued a freeze of the executive order hours before it would have temporarily suspended the admission of new refugees and barred the issuance of new visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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