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Experts Warn of National Security Risks from DACA

Terrorism concerns should be taken into account in the debate over amnesty, former government officials say

As Congress debates amnesty for the so-called “dreamers” — beneficiaries of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act — some advocates of tighter immigration enforcement urge lawmakers to address an issue that has hardly been considered: national security.

While four out of five people who received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were born in Mexico, a small number come from countries that could pose security concerns because they are state sponsors of terrorism, or have governments too weak to provide relevant information to U.S. authorities.

For instance, 2,980 of the DACA recipients were born in countries listed either in the temporary travel ban order issued by President Donald Trump earlier this year or in a new order that aims to permanently ban travelers from certain countries, according to figures released last month by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Others came from countries that are hostile to the United States. For instance, 200 people were born in Saudi Arabia, a hotbed of Islamic extremism, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from. Another 10 came from Afghanistan, where the 16-year U.S. military involvement has engendered anti-American sentiment.

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