Only Ten Percent of the 1,859 Refugees Admitted into U.S. in November Are Muslim

Only ten percent of the 1,859 refugees admitted into the United States in November are Muslim. This represents a dramatic decline in the percentage of all refugees admitted into the United States who were Muslim during the Obama administration.

In FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, 46 percent of the 84,995 refugees admitted into the country were Muslim.

“A total of 38,901 Muslim refugees entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2016, making up almost half (46%) of the nearly 85,000 refugees who entered the country in that period, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center,” Pew Research reported, adding that in FY 2016, the United States “admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since data on self-reported religious affiliations first became publicly available in 2002.”

According to the State Department’s interactive website, 185 refugees admitted into the United States in the month of November 2017 are Muslim.

November is the second month of FY 2018, the first full fiscal year of the Trump administration. In October, the first month of FY 2018, 1,248 refugees were admitted into the country, one of the lowest levels of monthly refugee arrivals in decades.

Though 611 more refugees were admitted in November than in October, the combined total of refugees admitted during the first two months of FY 2018–3,107–represents a run rate that, if maintained for the remaining ten months of the fiscal year, would result in less than 20,000 new refugee arrivals, a number that is less than half of the 45,000 refugee ceiling for FY 2018 set by President Trump in September.

The number of refugees admitted into the United States has declined steadily since the beginning of FY 2016.

In FY 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration, 84,995 refugees were admitted. In FY 2017, 53,716 refugees were admitted.

In FY 2017, 30,122 refugees were admitted during the three months and 20 days the Obama administration was in charge during FY 2017, and 23,594 refugees were admitted during the eight months and 11 days the Trump administration was in charge during FY 2017.

Though President Trump established a ceiling of 45,000 refugees to be admitted in FY 2018, that number represents the highest level of refugees that could be admitted. The final number of refugees that will actually be admitted in FY 2018 is likely to be less than that ceiling of 45,000, and could be as low as 20,000.

The countries of origin among refugees admitted into the United States during November differs significantly from recent previous years as well.

More than 75 percent of the arriving refugees come from five countries, only two of which were in the top five countries of origin in FY 2016.

Five hundred and thirty-two refugees arrived from Bhutan, 445 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 219 from Eritrea, 213 from Ukraine, and 200 from Burma.

In contrast, of the top five countries of origin for arriving refugees in FY 2016, 16,370 were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12,587 were from Syria, 12,347 were from Burma, 9,880 were from Iraq, and 9,020 were from Somalia, according to Pew Research.

Only 17 refugees were admitted from the seven countries whose citizens were temporarily banned from traveling to the United States in Executive Order 13679 issued by President Trump on January 27, 2017: thirteen from Somalia, two from Iraq, two from Iran, and none from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, or Libya.


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