Fox Report Cherry-Picks Immigration Data To Stoke Terrorism Fears

Fox News hyped fears that an influx of immigrants from the Middle East could pose a terrorism threat for the U.S., advocating for greater immigration from English-speaking countries. But Fox's report parrots a study released by the anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, and ignored the fact that the growth of Middle East immigrants in the U.S. was modest when compared to other regions.

The September 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto cited data that shows 41.3 million “legal and illegal” immigrants currently in the United States and stoked fears over “where a lot of them are coming from.” Cavuto highlighted the increased immigration from countries in the Middle East from 2010 to 2013, lamenting the “disproportionate” number of immigrants of Arab descent compared to immigrants from western countries.  Guest and conservative pundit Pat Buchanan suggested that the rise in immigrants from the Middle East would increase terror threats in the United States.

Buchanan asserted that “you've got to look with more concern at folks coming out of there than you would look at folks, for example, native born Brits coming over to the United States who speak English perfectly,” because the majority of terrorism is committed “by children of immigrants and immigrants themselves from Islamic countries”:

Cavuto's claims mirror a new report issued by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), an organization that has been characterized as an anti-immigration attack group, with ties to white nationalists and has often been criticized for its misleading and unsubstantiated studies.  

In fact, Cavuto's assertion that large influxes of Middle Eastern immigrants is also misleading. Even the CIS study he echoed showed a larger increase in immigrants from South and East Asia, and the Caribbean from 2010 to 2013 than from the Middle East: