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US denies over 37,000 visas due to travel ban

February 27, 2019 at 10:42 am

People take part in a rally called ‘I Am A Muslim Too’ in a show of solidarity with American Muslims in New York, US following Trump’s Travel Ban on February 19, 2017 [Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency]

The US State Department denied more than 37,000 visa applications in 2018 due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, according to data released yesterday.

The number of denials was up sharply from less than 1,000 cases the previous year due to the president’s executive order.

Nearly four million applications are denied every year for a number of reasons, including having a communicable disease or mental disability or being involved in money laundering.

But the latest report highlights the new impact the ban has placed on those who just a few years ago were eligible for a US visa.

READ: Iranian granted US visa to aid brother with cancer despite travel ban

Trump’s executive order, largely seen as a “Muslim ban”, was imposed soon after he was inaugurated into office and placed travel restrictions on anyone attempting to enter the US from the majority-Muslim countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with North Korea and Venezuela.

After being initially introduced, the travel ban was heavily criticised and faced multiple legal battles, forcing the Trump administration to revise it.

After a third iteration of the executive order, it was finally upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote.

READ: US Supreme Court upholds Trump’s Muslim ban

The figures released by the State Department show that because of the executive order, the government denied 15,384 applications for immigrant visas, which are given to those who want to live permanently in the United States.

The government also denied 21,645 applications for non-immigrant visas, which are given to individuals who are coming for short-term visits, including for business or a vacation.