2,466 Vetted Refugees from ‘Muslim Ban’ Countries Have Entered U.S. Since Trump Took Office

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 9: President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with leaders from small community banks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, March. 09, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

WASHINGTON D.C. – Amaal Alhaaj is visiting the United States to meet with officials at the United Nations and in Washington D.C. to share how she and others in her delegation are suffering under a reign of terror by radical Islamists in her home country.

“I want the American government to give us the space to explain the reality of Libya and what is happening in Libya,” Amaal told Breitbart News.

She and nine of her colleagues came despite the fact — and because of the fact — that their home country is Libya, one of the six countries included in President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily halt the entry of certain people from terror-torn states into the U.S.

As part of the National Movement of Libya (NML), made up of women and tribal leaders from that country, the delegation is representative of those who would be able to enter the country under Trump’s immigration policy: people coming to the United States — visitors and refugees alike — who must face strict vetting to ensure the safety of the American people.

In fact, 2,466 refugees from those six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — have entered the United States since Donald Trump took office, a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department data revealed this week.

“The number of refugees from the six travel-restricted countries represents 32 percent of all refugees who have entered the U.S. since Trump took office,” the Pew report states.

“Among the six countries identified in the order, Syria (5,585), Somalia (4,703) and Iran (1,893) are the leading nationalities of refugees who have entered the U.S. so far in fiscal 2017 (which begins Oct. 1, 2016). A total of 595 refugees from Sudan have entered the U.S. during this time, while 18 refugees are from Yemen and three are from Libya,” the Pew report states.

The Pew report states:

Before entering the U.S., refugees must be approved by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, a process that includes screening by the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal agencies. Once approved by the bureau, refugees undergo a health screening, and most also go through cultural orientations prior to entering the U.S. The entire process can take 18 to 24 months.

The Pew report does not include the fact that the refugees screened by the U.S. are those referred to by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) — a process many consider controversial.

The Pew report may intend to reveal that refugees are coming from these six terror-torn counties despite Trump’s efforts to stop them. But, in fact, the new executive order — like the first one issued in January that faced legal challenges — allows waivers on a case-by-case consideration for foreign nationals who want to come to the U.S. to visit or to live.

Those waivers include people like Amaal and the others in her delegation, who are here to seek help in defeating the radical Islamic terrorism that caused her to flee her homeland.

“The tribal and women leaders and their communities have formed a national movement to address the acute need for reconciliation, stability and the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism in rural regions, where tribal governance remains the primary source of authority and security,” the press release announcing Amaal’s delegation’s visit states. “The women leaders are working in collaboration to advance women’s rights in Libya and will bring a powerful perspective to the Libyan peace process.”

“The meetings will present a rare opportunity for Libyan tribal and women leaders to present their unique insights and pursue new ways of overcoming obstacles hindering their nation’s progress toward peace and stability,” the press release said. “Their goal is to open a path to national unity that has been underrepresented in the peace process.”

Amaal’s delegation is sponsored by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, with the support of Finn Church Aid.

Here is the text about waivers in the new travel executive order, which goes into effect on Thursday:

(c) Waivers. Notwithstanding the suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order, a consular officer, or, as appropriate, the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or the Commissioner’s delegee, may, in the consular officer’s or the CBP official’s discretion, decide on a case-by-case basis to authorize the issuance of a visa to, or to permit the entry of, a foreign national for whom entry is otherwise suspended if the foreign national has demonstrated to the officer’s satisfaction that denying entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest. Unless otherwise specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, any waiver issued by a consular officer as part of the visa issuance process will be effective both for the issuance of a visa and any subsequent entry on that visa, but will leave all other requirements for admission or entry unchanged. Case-by-case waivers could be appropriate in circumstances such as the following:

(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v) the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix) the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.