I remember when my family immigrated to the US from Canada in 1965. I was 14 years old, the oldest of 5 children. The application and vetting process for our family was about 6 months, not like the 2-year vetting process to which current refugees are subjected. I remember the months preceding our move. My parents sold our home, downsized to whatever could be packed onto our 1962 Pontiac station wagon and into one barrel containing precious mementos which could be shipped to us once we were settled in our new home. I remember mom dressing us up in our Sunday morning church clothes and going to the US Consulate in Toronto to be interviewed. I remember emotional goodbyes with family and friends and sleepless nights speculating about our new life in a different country. The day of departure we drove from the place of our birth, Kitchener, to the border at Detroit. We parked our loaded Pontiac, went into the immigration office and waited until an immigration officer verified all our paperwork. I cannot imagine how disruptive and heartbreaking it would have been for our family had we been denied entry into the US on that day after so many months of legal preparation and months of riding such an emotional roller coaster. I can’t wrap my head around the reality that our current president would do that to thousands of travelers fully expecting to enter the US and revoking the legal visas of 100,000 people. I can’t imagine the heartache and chaos created by such an unnecessary and poorly executed executive order. Thankfully our government has checks and balances and a federal judge with legal savvy and a heart of human compassion.
According to a recent Cato Institute report, out of more than 3 million refugees admitted to the U.S. from 1975 to 2015, three committed terrorist acts that killed Americans. They were Cuban refugees in the 1970s. Quoting this report, “Including those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), the chance of an American perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by a foreigner over the 41-year period studied here is 1 in 3.6 million per year. The hazard posed by foreigners who entered on different visa categories varies considerably. For instance, the chance of an American being murdered in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion per year while the chance of being murdered in an attack committed by an illegal immigrant is an astronomical 1 in 10.9 billion per year. By contrast, the chance of being murdered by a tourist on a B visa, the most common tourist visa, is 1 in 3.9 million per year.”
Apparently, our fellow citizens who have been tasked with vetting those who come to the USA have been doing a competent job.