Add to My Yahoo!
 
 

Report: Less than .01 % of DHS cases related to terrorism
Nick Juliano
Published: Monday May 28, 2007
Print This  Email This
 

When he announced the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security in 2002, President Bush invoked the fight against "terror" or "terrorists" 19 times in a single speech.

That's more mentions than there have been terrorism charges brought by the department in the last three years, according to an independent analysis of DHS records.

The department brought terrorism claims against only 12 of 814,073 individuals charged in immigration courts, according to the study from the Transactional Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Those 12 cases represent 0.0015 percent of the department's caseload, according to the first-of-its-kind study.

"The DHS claims it is focused on terrorism. Well that's just not true," TRAC spokesman David Burnham told CNN. "Either there's no terrorism, or they're terrible at catching them. Either way it's bad for all of us."

The report found "national security" charges also made up a miniscule number of those brought by DHS. Only 114 -- or 0.014 percent -- of charges carried that designation.

More than 85 percent of the charges brought by the department created in the wake of 9/11 to protect the country from terrorists involved common immigration violations such as overstaying a student visa or entering the United States without inspection.

TRAC notes the "apparent gap between DHS rhetoric about its role in fighting terrorism and what it actually has been doing."

A DHS spokesman dismissed the findings, telling CNN the report was "ill-conceived" and that TRAC "lacked a grasp of the DHS mission."