Although the Federal Appeals Court recently impeded the ban on Muslim nations and refugees, the Trump Administration has seemingly found a means of curbing immigration from these areas. Data released by State Department shows that his administration is issuing fewer visas to non-immigrants from Arab and Muslim-majority countries. From 50 Muslim-majority countries, it was found that visas granted were down twenty percent compared to the 2016 average. When Arab countries were considered, visas granted were down thirty percent.
If one takes into account the countries on which Trump wants a ban placed - Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen – visas granted to those countries were down fifty-five percent when compared to the 2016 average. In general, however, the case could be said that Trumps’ rhetoric is deterring individuals from applying for a visa. The increased hate crimes could also be to blame.
Worldwide, it also has been shown that visas being granted by the State Department fell fifteen percent from 2016. In addition, Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, explained that new guidelines by the State Department regarding the screening for visas likely intensified the screening and background check approvals, slowing down the process and pressuring individuals to deny visas. This could have easily prompted a decrease.
As for the impact on this, Alden explains that Trump’s campaign proposal to ban Muslims, along with the data exposed by the State Department, would result in a $36 billion to $71 billion economical loss due to lack of tourism, student enrollment, and travel.
OUR VERDICT: Although the travel ban has been knocked down, the administration is finding ways to maneuver around the legal system. Although on legally questionable grounds, it would be very difficult to bring case against the administration due to the drop simply coinciding with the reduction in visas. Overall, attention should be brought to the issue, and more research should be completed.