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National Security Law

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University of Washington School of Law

2007

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The Immigration-Terrorism Illusory Correlation And Heuristic Mistake, Mary De Ming Fan Jan 2007

The Immigration-Terrorism Illusory Correlation And Heuristic Mistake, Mary De Ming Fan

Articles

The national broil over immigration reform is fermenting an illusory correlation and mistaken heuristic. Two events illustrate the involvement of legislators in the manufacture and mplification of this heuristic mistake. A controversial bill passed by the House of Representatives in December 2005 explicitly and extensively packaged immigration control with antiterrorism.' During his term as a congressman, J. D. Hayworth published a book claiming that inflows of people over the U.S.-Mexico border pose a "terrorist threat," that the nation has witnessed an "illegal alien crime spree," and that high immigration rates from Mexico threaten social instability.[para] Such pronouncements by legislators generate …