So far, according to the Pew research organization, a total of 2,466 refugees from six countries under new travel restrictions – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – have resettled in the country since President Trump’s inauguration. Citing State Department data, Pew said that the number of refugees from the six travel-restricted countries represents 32% of all refugees who have entered the U.S. since Trump took office.
Trump’s new executive order becomes active on March 16, barring new U.S. visas for 90 days for people from the six nations while security measures in those countries are reviewed. The new order also suspends refugee admissions to the U.S. from all countries for 120 days, pending a review of security screening measures.
During the first full week of Trump’s presidency, 687 refugees from the six restricted countries entered the country and accounted for 34% of all refugee admissions that week. The following week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, refugees from the six restricted countries all but stopped after Trump’s original executive order on restrictions took effect. A federal judge in Washington state suspended key parts of Trump’s initial order on Feb. 3, they resumed. The court decision lifted the travel restrictions and was upheld by a federal appeals court.
According to the Pew study, while including refugees from countries with no travel restrictions, a total of 7,594 refugees have entered the country during Trump’s first seven weeks in office (Jan. 21 to March 10). Of these refugees, 3,410 are Muslims (45%) and 3,292 are Christians (43%), with other religions or the religiously unaffiliated accounting for the rest.
“So far in fiscal 2017 (which began Oct. 1, 2016), refugees who hold citizenship from the six restricted countries have accounted for more than a third (34%) of 37,716 refugee admissions,” said the Pew study. “No more than 12,284 additional refugees may enter the U.S. for the rest of this fiscal year under the terms of Trump’s most recent order, which lowers the annual refugee admissions ceiling to 50,000 – down from 110,000 under the Obama administration.”
The leading contributors of refugees are: Syria (5,585); Somalia (4,703); and Iran (1,893). A total of 595 refugees from Sudan have entered the U.S. during the 2017 fiscal year. Yemen contributed 18 refugees, while three came from Libya.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.