Terrorism is the main issue in the United States right now, especially heightened by the new executive order Trump signed that banned several countries from entering. The question is, was this mandate really necessary? According to the Cato Institute, officials should address terrorism in a rational approach wherein the benefits override the costs.
The Risks Brought by Non-U.S. Citizens
From 1975 to 2015, out of the 1.14 billion visas granted by the U.S. government, 154 foreign-born terrorists abused this opportunity. For every 7.38 million foreigners who enter the country, only one of them is a terrorist. This means that the officials only issued visas to 0.0000136 percent terrorists.
During the same period, 3,252,493 refugees entered the country and only 0.00062 percent or 20 were terrorists. For every 162,625 refugees, only one is a terrorist. Among them, only three refugees were successful in their mission of eliminating three Americans.
The Statistical Facts about Terrorism
Still at the same period, 16 foreign-born terrorists murdered 17 people, while native-born terrorists and unknown nationalities killed 305 Americans. Most of these victims occurred during the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 committed by Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, which were U.S. natives. American-born Syed Rizwan Farook and his lawful permanent wife Tashfeen Malik committed around 14 of these deaths last December 2, 2015.
Whether it is pre or post 9/11 United States, the deaths caused by natives or unknown nationalities is still greater than those caused by foreigners.
Bottom line is, the dangers posed by foreign terrorists are not huge enough to deserve excessive actions, such as the suspension of all tourism and immigration.