As Democrats prepare to introduce ‘No Ban Act’ legislation to end what they say is President Donald Trump’s racist Muslim ban they should take a moment to read the new Government Accountability Office report issued Thursday. It shows that under President Obama the travel ban rate for security reasons in 2015 was 16 times higher than under Trump in 2017 based on the one year data that was available to GAO.
It also indicates a very significant finding: that the Trump administration’s executive orders not only did not increase its refusal rate -for terrorism and security related reasons- but it was lower for the respective years studied.
“GAO’s analysis indicates that, out of the nearly 2.8 million NIV applications refused in fiscal year 2017, 1,338 applications were refused specifically due to visa entry restrictions implemented per the executive actions,” stated the report.
In fact, the nonimmigrant visa refusal rate rose under Obama’s tenure from about “14 percent in fiscal year 2012 to about 22 percent in fiscal year 2016, and remained about the same in fiscal year 2017; averaging about 18 percent over the time period,” according to the report. “The total number of NIVs issued peaked in fiscal year 2015 at about 10.89 million, before falling in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 to 10.38 million and 9.68 million, respectively.”
For example, in 2015, “CBP data showed that it identified and interdicted over 22,000 high-risk air travelers through these programs” according to the most recent data available at the time of GAO’s report it stated.
ONLY 1,338 VISA APPLICATIONS WERE REFUSED BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S VISA ENTRY RESTRICTIONS FOR PEOPLE FROM CERTAIN COUNTRIES IN 2017 – THESE REFUSALS WERE TERRORISM OR SECURITY RELATED CONCERNS.
Nonimmigrant visa’s are those issued to foreign nationals seeking admission into the United States. Some examples are visas issued to tourists, students and businessmen seeking temporary status.
According to the GAO, “the number of adjudications peaked at about 13.4 million in fiscal year 2016, and decreased by about 880,000 adjudications in fiscal year 2017.”
State Department Stats
From the time period above, the State Department denied roughly 18 percent of adjudicated applications “of which more than 90 percent were because the applicant did not qualify for the visa sought” and only “0.05 percent were due to terrorism and security-related concerns.”
The report noted that previous successful and attempted terrorist attacks against the United States raised questions about the U.S.