Feds Imported 1.4K Refugees to U.S. from Travel Ban Countries in 2019

FILE--In this May 15, 2017, file photo, protesters hold signs during a demonstration again
AP/Ted S. Warren

The federal government has brought nearly 1,400 refugees to the United States over the last year from foreign countries listed on President Donald Trump’s constitutional travel ban.

In 2o19, the State Department imported exactly 1,378 refugees from Chad, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen — six of the eight countries on Trump’s travel ban list, which also includes North Korea and Libya. This indicates a more than 783 percent increase between 2018 and 2019 of refugees from travel ban countries arriving in the U.S.

Almost half of those refugees, roughly 631, arrived in the U.S. from Syria — 115 of which were resettled in California, while 51 were resettled in Illinois, 49 were resettled in Michigan, and 41 were resettled in Texas.

Another 512 refugees arrived last year from Iraq, a country that remains on the travel ban list. A bulk of these Iraqi refugees resettled in California, Texas, Michigan, and Illinois. About 216 refugees arrived last year from Iran, the majority of which were resettled in California, 63, and Texas, 38.

The remainder of refugees from travel ban countries came from Chad from where eight were resettled, Venezuela had nine resettled, and Yemen had two who were resettled for all of 2019. No refugees arrived from Libya or North Korea.

This level of refugee resettlement from travel ban countries is soaringly high compared to the only 156 refugees from these same countries that were resettled a year before in 2018. They do, however, remain vastly lower than the nearly 8,000 refugees from travel ban countries that arrived in 2017 before the travel ban was fully implemented.

There are nine refugee contractors that resettle all refugees for the State Department every year. These refugee contractors have a vested interest in ensuring as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. because their annual federally funded budgets are contingent on the number of refugees they resettle. Those refugee contractors include:

Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and World Relief Corporation (WR).

The federally mandated refugee resettlement program has brought more than 718,000 refugees to the U.S. between 2008 t0 2018 — a group larger than the entire state population of Wyoming, which has 577,000 residents. In that period, about 73,000 refugees have been resettled in California, 71,500 resettled in Texas, nearly 43,000 resettled in New York, and more than 36,000 resettled in Michigan.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

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


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