Details of President Trump’s updated travel order, announced on Sunday, would block all permanent immigration from seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Chad. It also would ban permanent immigration for certain government officials from Venezuela.
Five of the seven blocked countries — Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen — are overwhelmingly Muslim. Upon further review, Fox News is reporting that the new ban cuts down Muslim immigration by one-fifth.
In 2014, 126,742 people came from the Islamic world; in 2015, it was a similar 131,061. Thus, the new ban could result in Muslim immigration to the United States being reduced by as much as 21 percent.
The latest data from the Department of Homeland security shows that in 2015, the United States gave permanent immigration visas to 27,678 people born in the Muslim majority countries, so “if all of those people had not been allowed to immigrate in 2015, that would have stopped 21 percent of immigration from the Islamic world that year — out of a total of 131,061 people who were admitted from countries in which the large majority – more than two-thirds – are Muslim,” a new Fox News report concludes.
However, the Department of Homeland Security does not include immigrants’ religion in its statistics, so the 21 percent figure is an estimate based on the main religion in the countries from which those people came.
Refugees would be processed separately by the government, and will not be impacted by this executive order or included in the numbers above.
Trump’s order still allows continued immigration from several major Muslim countries with a lot of immigration to the U.S. from countries such as Pakistan (18,057 immigrants in 2015), Egypt (12,085), and Afghanistan (8,328). However, while nearly 3,000 Muslims were admitted as refugees in January, that number plummeted by more than 90 percent, to just under 250 admitted in August.
Some of the most deadly recent terror incidents were committed by people from countries that are not being blocked. For instance, the San Bernardino shooters who killed 14 people last were from Pakistan, and the Orlando Nightclub shooter who murdered 49 people was the son of an Afghani immigrant who was a Taliban supporter.
Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, supports the new restrictions. “The fact is, the danger is coming from Islamic groups,” he stated, adding, “There are no Buddhist terror groups bombing people in the United States.”
Krikorian pointed out that the new order clearly does not amount to a “Muslim ban” and shouldn’t even be controversial, considering that non-Muslim countries are also on the list and the list was compiled based on whether countries complied with vetting.
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