Foreign Policy Digital

Keeping Refugees Out Makes the United States Less Safe

Instead, Washington should focus on helping end conflicts around the world.

The United States’ refugee policy is self-defeating. As the number of refugees around the world continues to rise, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is drastically cutting how many are allowed into the country, and, citing security concerns, it has said that it may even prevent new admissions next year. But zeroing out refugee admissions won’t make Americans safer. The opposite is true.

Reducing the number of refugees in the United States will paradoxically increase the long-term security threat posed by forced migration. Refugees settled in the country the risk of violent crime or terrorism—in fact, homegrown white nationalists are a much more pressing concern. But a failure to reduce global numbers of displaced people by refusing to resettle them harms long-term U.S. national security by prolonging conflicts, destabilizing strategically

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