The Washington Post begs the question — how effective has the “Travel Ban” (AKA Muslim Ban) been? In one word, the paper states, “dramatic.” As a reminder, the policy involves seven countries: five Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia) as well as North Korea and Venezuela. The paper states, “Since the ban went into effect, 98 percent of people from affected countries who applied for a visa were rejected, and the other 2 percent received a waiver.”
Here are some other compelling stats from the Washington Post:
– The number of immigrant visas issued to citizens of these Muslim-majority countries dropped sharply — from 1,419 in October 2017 to 69 in January 2018. The monthly number has ticked up since then, but it remains much lower than it was. Take Iran as an example. Only 537 immigrant visas were issued in 2018 to people born in Iran for the 12 months after the travel ban went into effect. In 2017, 6,643 immigrant visas were issued to people born in Iran.
– By contrast, North Korea and Venezuela did not experience a drop in visas issued — contradicting any notion that the travel ban wasn’t a “Muslim ban” because it included two non-Muslim countries.
– But the effect of the Muslim ban could be even larger than this graph suggests [MOST editor note: see original story for graph]. State Department data indicates only the “country of chargeability,” where the applicant was born, rather than where they reside. An immigrant could have been born in Iran but lived in Canada for 30 years. If so, they would be marked as an immigrant from Iran, based on their country of chargeability.