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US: Immigration makes tackling terrorism a ‘challenge’

May 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm

A woman holds a sign reading in ‘We are all Muslims now’ during a rally supporting immigration in New York City on February 1, 2017 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

Mass immigration is a “challenge” when confronting terrorism, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in London today.

Speaking in a joint news conference with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Tillerson said:

Immigration is a significant challenge in how we confront acts of terrorism. We seem to have difficulty assimilating those people so that they feel part of our society and would never consider supporting acts of violence against their fellow citizens and their fellow neighbours.

“This mass migration of people …  is a problem for countries all over the world. It is one we have to learn better how to address,” Tillerson added.

Johnson said the US and the UK were “countries that in many ways are built on immigration”.

Bringing up his own family’s past – his great-grandfather was an Ottoman official – Johnson said “integration is possible”.

Johnson said:

My great-grandfather was a Muslim. And he came to this country, indeed he came to Wimbledon in the early part of the last century. I went on to become the Mayor of London and indeed foreign secretary. So integration is possible. It is what we should aspire to.