Study: Mideast Immigrants to US Pose Huge Security Threat

Todd Beamon, Newsmax, September 25, 2014

A new study shows that the number of immigrants in the United States jumped 3 percent in three years–to a record 41.3 million in 2013–and that the nearly 300,000 who came from Muslim countries pose a major national security threat, the report’s co-author told Newsmax on Thursday.

“All of that does raise national security concerns, and I don’t think there has been any consideration of that,” said Steven Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Washington-based nonprofit organization released the study on Thursday. It is based on an analysis of Census data from 2010 to last year. Camarota conducted the study and co-authored it with CIS demographer Karen Zeigler.

“The primary threat from a group like ISIS to the homeland is through our immigration system,” Camarota said, referring to the Islamic State terrorist group that has beheaded three Westerners in recent weeks.

“No one’s suggesting that they’re going to launch a missile and hit New York, but rather they’re going to board an airliner and blow it up,” he added. “They’re going to park a car in a public place, they’re going to go on a shooting spree, or any one of those things.

“Our immigration system is a vital part of national security. Everybody doesn’t seem to recognize that,” Camarota said. “The question is, what are the implications of our rapidly growing Middle Eastern population? The numbers certainly raise it.”

The CIS report shows that the United States was home to a record 41.3 million legal and illegal immigrants last year. That was up nearly 1.4 million from the 39.9 million in 2010, while the number was 31.1 million in 2000.

By comparison, the U.S. immigrant population stood at 9.6 million in 1970.

About 16 percent of the U.S. population last year was foreign-born, whether in the country legally or illegally, according to the data. That’s about one in eight residents, or one of every six adults.

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The largest number of immigrants in the United States are Mexicans, with more than 11.5 million living here illegally and legally last year. The number of Mexican immigrants fell by 126,126–or 1 percent–over the period because of some dying and others leaving the country, Camarota said.

According to the study, the Middle Eastern population grew by 207,758 in the period, or 13 percent, to more than 1.8 million last year. That compared with 1.6 million in 2010 and 1.1 million in 2000.

Leading the growth from that region was Saudi Arabia, with 43,878 immigrants–nearly double the number who were in the U.S. in 2010. The analysis shows that 88,894 Saudis lived in this country last year.

Iraq was next, with about 41,094 immigrants, for a 26 percent increase to a total of 200, 894.

But the total number of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries totaled 295,743 in the period, according to the CIS study. That was up by 13.5 percent.

The total number of immigrants from primarily Muslim countries in the U.S. was more than 2.4 million last year, compared with 2.1 million in 2010 and 1.5 million in 2000.

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[Editor’s Note: The full study is available here.]

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