Former officials say the Trump administration dismissed an intelligence assessment last year that showed refugees did not present a significant threat to the United States, NBC News reported.
Hard-liners in the administration, which has consistently sought to exaggerate the potential security threat posed by refugees, issued their own report this year that several former officials and rights groups say misstates the evidence and inflates the threat posed by people born outside the U.S.
At a meeting in September 2017 with senior officials discussing refugee admissions, a representative from the National Counterterrorism Center came ready to present a report that analyzed the possible risks presented by refugees entering the country. But before he could discuss the report, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand dismissed the report, saying her boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would not be guided by its findings.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security said, "If we only look at what terrorists have done in the past, we will never be able to prevent future attacks…We cannot let dangerous individuals slip through the cracks and exploit our refugee program, which is why we have implemented security enhancements that would prevent such violent individuals from reaching our shores, while still upholding our humanitarian ideals."
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.