Fact Check: Beto O’Rourke Falsely Claims Trump Banned Muslims from U.S.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke participates in the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) falsely claimed during CNN’s 2020 Democrat presidential primary debate that President Trump has sought to “ban all Muslims” from the United States.

O’Rourke said Trump, with the enactment of his travel ban from terrorist-sponsoring countries, sought to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., a claim that is not backed up by the data. O’Rourke said:

[Trump’s racism] doesn’t just offend our sensibilities when he calls Mexican immigrants ‘rapists and criminals’ or seeks to ban all Muslims from a country that is comprised of people from the world over, from every tradition of faith. [Emphasis added]

We must not only stand up against Donald Trump and defeat him in this next election, but we must also ensure that we don’t just tolerate or respect our differences but we embrace them. That’s what we’ve learned in El Paso, Texas, my hometown, one of the safest cities in the United States of America not despite but because its a city of immigrants, and asylum-seekers, and refugees. We will show that our diversity is our strength in my administration. [Emphasis added]

Refugee resettlement totals since Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, though, reveal that more than 8,700 Muslim refugees have been admitted to the U.S. The majority of these Muslim refugees have arrived from Burma and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At the same time, Trump’s travel ban has been effective in nearly ending all immigration from Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen — nations that sponsor terrorism.

The U.S., thanks exclusively to Trump’s reforms, helped lower the total number of foreign refugees to less than 23,000 admissions last year. This is a 76 percent decrease in foreign refugee resettlement from President Obama’s 2016 totals that reached almost 100,000 admissions. Specifically, Trump has cut the Syria-to-U.S. pipeline of refugees — started by Obama — by more than 60 percent thus far.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers about $1.8 billion a year and about $8.8 billion over the course of five years, research by the Federation for American Immigration Reform has revealed.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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