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Fascinating Videos of Global Refugee Flow from 2000-2016 and Terrorism Events and Refugee Movement from 2000-2016


Accepting refugees into the United States and other countries around the world has become a controversial issue over the past few years, due in large part to the outpour of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. Many questions have been raised regarding how many refugees the U.S. should accept, especially in light of terrorism concerns. President Trump even signed an Executive Order to stop all refugee admissions and adjudication of refugee applications for 120 days and reduces the number of refugees that can be accepted in 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000. Although that portion of the Executive Order has been temporarily enjoined by the courts, it has stirred quite a bit of debate regarding the number of refugees accepted by the United States compared to the rest of the world.

Earth TimeLapse, an interactive platform created by Global security expert and research director at the think tank Igarapé Institute, Robert Muggah, joined with Carnegie Mellon University, to detail the flow of migrants over a 16-year span from 2000 to 2015. Data comes from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Each red dot represents 17 refugees arriving in a country, while yellow dots represent refugees leaving their home country behind.

Not only does the flow of refugees paint a pretty picture, it also tells the story of global conflict and strife. Check out this Business Insider article that artfully and succinctly breaks down the main conflicts each year that caused individuals to flee his or her country and seek refugee in elsewhere.

Mesmerized by the Global Refugee Flow but still concerned that accepting more refugees into the U.S. will put our country risk of increased terrorist attacks? Then check out the video below that maps Terrorism events alongside refugee movement. Notably, out of the 785,000 refugees admitted to the U.S. in the past 15 years, less than 12 individuals were arrested and deported due to terrorism concerns and there has been no fatal terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil by a refugee.


So what can we learn from all of this? Check the facts for yourself. The news and our politicians do provide useful and credible information about these matters but can also have other motivations at play that can intentionally or even unintentionally mislead.

Our current vetting procedure for refugees takes 18-24 months on average and subjects a refugee applicant to multiple types of security checks, from fingerprints to iris scans to in-person interviews. This intense scrutiny is warranted to protect our nation from terrorists looking to take advantage of the refugee system to gain entry into the U.S. in order to carry out a domestic attack. And our system appears to have been working over the past 15 years, so increased measures to the extent proposed by our President, (and I will note that we still do not know many details as to what these increased measures would look like), is questionable in light of the cold hard statistics.

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