Here’s a sampling of things more likely to kill Americans than refugees, who have been responsible for exactly zero terrorism-related deaths in the United States in the 21st century: (1) second hand smoke (41,000 deaths annually); (2) alcohol-related car crashes (10,000 deaths annually); (3) gunshot (33,000 deaths annually); (4) husbands/male partners (1,600 deaths annually); (5) medical errors (250,000 deaths annually); (6) overdose or other unintentional poisoning (22,000 deaths annually), (7) child abuse or neglect (1,600 deaths annually); and (8) bicycle accidents (over 800 deaths annually). As noted in the Washington Post, in 2016 Americans were more likely to be shot by a toddler with a gun than by a refugee. None of the 9/11 terrorists were refugees, nor were the killers in the Orlando nightclub and Boston Marathon massacres. Refugees, like immigrants more generally, also have consistently lower rates of non-terrorism related crime than native born Americans.
Despite these facts, fear of refugees, and of Muslim refugees in particular, remains high among Americans. There is also considerable support for Donald Trump’s advocacy of “extreme vetting”, though in fact the vetting process is already extremely thorough, and as the crime statistics show, quite effective. Why then does this fear of refugees persist? A combination of factors, some political and others psychological, offers some useful insights.
RAUL VILLAMARIN RODRIGUEZ
Co-Founder/ Co- CEO
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute