A woman accused of sending Bitcoin digital currency to send thousands of dollars to Islamic State (ISIS) fighters was able to the enter the U.S. as a foreign relative of a newly naturalized immigrant through the process known as “chain migration.”
Under chain migration, newly naturalized immigrants to the U.S. can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country with them. Chain migration, denounced repeatedly by President Trump, has imported more than nine million foreign relatives of immigrants to the U.S. since 2005, Breitbart News reported.
Zoobia Shahnaz, a 27-year-old chain migrant from Pakistan, was arrested in July at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City when she attempted to flee the U.S. for Syria after she allegedly defrauded a bank of a $22,500 loan and then allegedly sent $62,000 in Bitcoin to ISIS fighters.
According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson Tyler Houlton, Shahnaz was only able to enter the U.S. and eventually become a citizen, despite her alleged sympathy for ISIS, due to chain migration.
Separately, Zoobia Shahnaz, who has been charged with laundering bitcoins to support ISIS, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who came to the United States from Pakistan on an F43 visa. The F43 visa is available to the children of F41 visa holders who were sponsored by other family memebrs that obtained citizenship.
BREAKING: My statement on Immigration Backgrounds of Recent Terror-Related Suspects: pic.twitter.com/I3JfZOfuBh
— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) December 24, 2017
As Houlton explained, Shahnaz was able to enter the U.S. from Pakistan as the niece of one of her aunts or uncles who had already been naturalized in the U.S. prior to her arrival.
President Trump has most recently started a public campaign to permanently end chain migration, which makes up more than 70 percent of the entire U.S. legal immigration system.
This huge chain migration inflow in the last decade outpaces two years of American births, which amount to roughly four million babies every year, Breitbart News reported.
Even after discounting normal immigration, the number of chain migration arrivals at the nation’s airports during five years exceeds the number of babies born during each year. In percentage terms, foreigners deliver one in five, or 20 percent, of all new arrivals at the nation’s airports or maternity wards every year.
Specifically, chain migration has imported more than 175,000 Pakistani nationals to the U.S. since 2005, as well as roughly 120,000 foreign nationals from countries that fund terrorism, including Iran, Syria, and Sudan, Breitbart News reported.
Despite Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ calls for chain migration to be immediately ended by the Republican-controlled Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have yet to champion the initiative.