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Immigration Benefits and Terrorism: Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff Report on Terrorist Travel

Author: Janice L. Kephart

This report covers the immigration histories of 94 terrorists who operated in the United States between the early 1990s and 2004, including six of the September 11th hijackers. Other than the hijackers, almost all of these individuals have been indicted or convicted for their crimes. The report builds on prior work done by 9/11 Commission and the Center for Immigration Studies, providing more information than has been previously been made public.

The findings show widespread terrorist violations of immigration laws. The report highlights the danger of our lax immigration system, not just in terms of who is allowed in, but also how terrorists, once in the country, used weaknesses in the system to remain here. The report makes clear that strict enforcement of immigration law – at American consulates overseas, at ports of entry, and within the United States – must be an integral part of our efforts to prevent future attacks on U.S. soil.

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