U.S. Imported 260K Foreign Nationals from Travel Ban Nations Since 2016

Miles Treakle, left, of Seattle, holds a sign that reads "Refugees Welcome Ban Trump," as
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

More than 260,000 foreign nationals have been legally admitted to the United States from all 13 travel ban countries between 2016 and 2018 — a foreign population 25 times that of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

On Friday, President Donald Trump’s administration announced the addition of six foreign countries that will be added to the list of existing travel ban countries. In total, the U.S. will now ban some legal immigration from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Sudan, along with Iran Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Between 2016 and 2018, the U.S. brought more than 133,000 nationals from the six newly added travel ban countries — the majority of which arrived from Burma and Nigeria. In this time period, more than 34,000 native Burmese were given green cards by the federal government.

Another nearly 21,000 Burmese refugees were brought to the U.S. between 2016 and 2018. Meanwhile, in this time frame, the federal government awarded almost 42,000 native Nigerians with green cards to permanently remain in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship.

Similarly, more than 12,000 legal immigrants and refugees have been brought to the U.S. from Eritrea since 2016, as well as about 16,000 people from Sudan. More than 3,000 of those 16,000 Sudanese nationals arrived through the Diversity Visa Lottery, which randomly doles out visas every year to 55,000 foreign nationals who undergo limited vetting.

Even while the Trump administration has placed the six foreign countries on the travel ban list, legal immigration from the existing travel ban countries has continued into the U.S. Overall, legal immigration from these countries has decreased by less than 34 percent since the travel ban’s implementation.

For example, at least 127,000 foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen have been admitted to the U.S. and given green cards or refugee status since Trump first announced the travel ban.

More than 2,400 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S. since the implementation of the travel ban, while another 14,600 Iranian residents and 24,000 native-born Iranians have been awarded green cards.

Specifically, the travel ban has resulted in a less than 15 percent reduction in green cards being given to native Iranians and Iranian residents and only about a seven percent reduction in green cards being given to native-born Libyans.

Since major changes were enacted in 1965 and in the 1990s to the U.S. legal immigration system — changes that allow foreign nationals to bring as many foreign relatives to the country as they want — legal immigration levels have continued booming for more than five decades.

The number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. every year since 1980 has not dipped below 525,000. Since 1999, annual legal immigration levels have not dropped below 645,000. And since 2004, the number of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. every year has not dipped below 957,000 admissions a year.

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


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