A U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, report appears to undermine the Trump administration's rationale for the president's controversial immigration order.
While officials had argued that the temporary ban protected against an increased terror risk posed by immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the memo states that "country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity."
It also notes, "Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, the foreign-born primarily US-based individuals who were inspired by a foreign terrorist organization to participate in terrorism-related activity were citizens of 26 different countries..."
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Of the 82 U.S.-based people whose deaths have been linked to the pursuit of a terrorism-related activity, the report says "slightly more than half were native-born United States citizens."
The three-page document, titled "Citizenship Likely an Unreliable Indicator of Terrorist Threat to the United States" was posted online and assessed by multiple media outlets including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press.
It acknowledges that the information presented "relies on unclassified information."
Gillian M. Christensen, a DHS spokesperson, has since told the Wall Street Journal that the report, in her words, "is an incomplete product that fails to find evidence of terrorism by simply refusing to look at all the available evidence."
The Journal also states that "the White House on Friday dismissed it as politically motivated and poorly researched."
Nevertheless, the Post argues that the report "could prove another hurdle in the administration's effort to restore the travel ban."