When U.S. President Donald Trump started his campaign back in 2015, one of the promises he kept making during his rallies was cutting off immigration opportunities to people from Muslim countries. Three years on, and it looks like he made good on that one, at least in part.
As reported by Danbury News Times, the president has managed to slash the number of Muslim immigrants entering the country since he took office in January 2017 quite drastically.
Although immigration numbers have slowed down across the board, the number of Muslims entering the country has dropped more than any other demographic. Between 2016 and 2018, Muslim refugee numbers dropped by a whopping 91 percent as the government cut down on the number of visas they issued.
In 2016, the last year of former President Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly 40,000 Muslim refugees were admitted into the country. In comparison, 2018 saw just 3,000 Muslim refugees enter the country. Interestingly, between 2009 and 2016, Obama actually increased the number of refugees from Muslim countries, more than doubling the intake.
Trump, unlike his predecessor, has no interest in welcoming Muslims to the U.S., and believes the large numbers of refugees from these countries being allowed to move to America are a “Trojan horse designed to bring down America.”
And it’s not just refugees that have been impacted since Trump took office. Numbers of legal immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations have also been drastically cut down. While these working visa forms don’t ask people about their religious beliefs, it does note which country they are from, and approvals for those from the world’s 48 Muslim countries have plummeted.
In 2018, there have been 35,000 fewer working immigrants from these countries, a drop of 30 percent. This too reverses the trend set by Obama during his presidency, in which working visas for people from these countries were awarded at an increased rate. Much of the drop in numbers can be attributed to the fact that Trump has cut down on family-sponsored immigration.
Temporary visas have also suffered as a result of this trend, with almost 155,000 fewer tourists, students, and guest workers from Muslim countries traveling to the United States than in 2016.
The declines can be attributed directly to Trump, who has total authority over the refugee program and has cut it down to the smallest it has ever been in history. Within that cut, he has also further deprioritized the plight of Muslim refugee applicants.
At the very beginning of his presidency, Trump started out with banning all travel from eight predominantly Muslim countries, showing right off the bat how he would implement immigration policies.