The real danger to America is “right-wing extremism” and recent American violence supports that notion. While Donald Trump and cohorts spend their time demonizing immigrants south of the border, the real danger lies in home-grown American terrorists. A June 21, 2017 investigation of terrorism in America by The Investigative Fund clearly demonstrates that true homegrown terrorism is far more dangerous than radical Islamic terrorism.
The terrorism investigation  looked at “nine years of domestic terrorism” incidents on American soil. The report identified 197 instances of domestic terrorism between 2008 and 2016. From those, 115 (58%) were terror plots launched by right-wing extremists. There were 63 (32%) Islamic terrorist plots during the same period. The rest, 19 (10%) were from “incidents related to left-wing ideologies.”
However, defining what is terrorism in America has allowed the notion to be created that Americans are in danger from Islamic terrorism, or from the U.S.-México border rather than the home-grown variety. For example, Cesar Sayoc, the alleged pipe-bomber, has not been charged with “terrorism” but rather with federal crimes related to bomb making.
The reason is that American jurisprudence does not have a terrorism charge in the federal criminal code. Ideology is not part of the crime laws and therefore the motivating ideology of the terrorist is usually not prosecuted. Technically, “hate” crimes are based on ideology and there are “hate crime” laws on the books, but their application to criminals is haphazard at best as many hate crimes are classified under other federal statutes. Sayoc is one example.
Most of the terrorism in America – since 9/11 – is homegrown, including the ISIS-related ones. They are committed by U.S.-born Americans. None have been documented to have entered the U.S. through the southern border and none have originated from México or from Latin America, for that matter.
But the notion persists that Americans are in danger from the southern border, although the facts prove otherwise.
Recent terrorist-related prosecutions demonstrate that undocumented immigrants do not commit mass-murder and hate-driven violence. Instead, the terrorists are either U.S. born or legal immigrants who came to the country through the nation’s airports. As legal immigrants they were presumably vetted and authorized before arriving.
Here are some recent terrorists who attacked Americans.
July 4, 2002: Hesham Muhammad Hadayet, an Egyptian and legal immigrant.
June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Muhammed aka Carlos Leon Bledsoe was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
November 5, 2009: Nidal Hasan was born in Arlington County, Virginia.
May 1, 2010: Faisal Shahzad (Pakistani, first entered with an F-1 student visa, and after graduating college converted it into an H1-B visa.
April 15, 2013: Tamerlan Tsarnaev & Dzhokhar Tsarnaev both legally immigrated from regions from the former Soviet Union.
July 16, 2015: Mohammad Abdulazeez legally entered the country from Kuwait.
December 2, 2015: Syed Rizwan Farook, was born in Chicago. Legally brought in Tashfeen Malik from Pakistan with a K-1 visa, aka a marriage visa. Malik was raised in Saudi Arabia.
June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen was born in New Hyde Park, New York.
August 12, 2017: James Alex Fields Jr., a registered Republican and Neo-Nazi was born in Kenton, Kentucky.
October 31, 2017: Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He entered the country legally.
October 22, 2018: Cesar Sayoc, the pipe-bomber, was born in Brooklyn. He is a registered Republican and a white supremacist.
October 24, 2018: Gregory Bush was born in the United States.
October 27, 2018: Robert Bowers was also born in America. He was an active member of a white supremacist social media site and a fervent anti-immigrant. Bowers blamed his victims for the immigrant caravan making its way through México.
Here is the common thread of all the terrorists listed above. The immigrants came from countries like Russia, or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
The majority are U.S.-born and raised.
None came from south of the border or through the U.S.-México border. None were undocumented immigrants.
In the immigration debate, facts matter.
1. Neiwert, Davind; “Far-right vigilantes have hatched far more terror plots than anyone else in recent years”; The Investigative Fund; June 21, 2017