While hundreds of thousands of people across the world are taking to streets to denounce President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on people from seven Muslim countries, the Twitterer-in-chief is busy spouting misleading facts to defend the discriminatory move that is ripping families apart and has already claimed an innocent life.
Trump claimed the executive orders (which affect refugees, certain foreign nationals and even green card holders) only inconvenienced 109 people.
In reality, the number is much higher.
Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage,.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
Even White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters something similar during a press-briefing a day before.
“Remember we’re talking about a universe of 109 people,” he said. “There were 325,000 people that came into this country over a 24-hour period from another country; 109 of them were stopped for additional screening.”
Spicer added the detained travelers were only “temporarily inconvenienced.”
“I think it’s a shame that people were inconvenienced, obviously. But at the end of the day, we’re talking about a couple hours,” he continued. “I’m sorry that some folks may have had to wait a little while.”
Well, that is nonsense.
First, why is the Trump administration trying to confuse the masses by citing the “325,000” figure?
The number of people who arrive in the U.S. on a given day is not a problem. It is the number of people detained or denied entry that matters.
As The Daily Beast reports, from the issuance of the executive order on Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday, authorities blocked at least 348 passengers from boarding flights into the U.S.
As for 200-250 people who managed to board their planes, well, they arrived at U.S. airports only to find out they cannot go any further — and they were part of a larger pool of 735 travelers at different ports of entry whom the authorities could have sent back. The Department of Homeland Security also processed and admitted additional 392 green card holders in to the country.
In fact, as of Jan. 30, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency granted waivers to 1,059 legal permanent residents and 75 other visa holders, allowing them to enter the country after they landed at airports and (presumably) waited for hours to complete the procedure.
So, 109 might be the number of people detained within the hour or two after the order was signed, but for the president or the White House to cite outdated stats to argue in favor of the ban is just outrageous.
As of now, Trump’s immigration ban extends to Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Iran.
No matter how the White House downplays the situation, they cannot hide the fact that this particular order is going to affect thousands of people, some even in desperate need of safe haven, all over the world.
The number America should be worrying about is actually 90,000 — because that is approximately how many people obtained non-immigrant or immigrant visas from the seven above mentioned countries in 2015.
Here is a breakdown compiled by The Washington Post:
Nonimmigrant visas: 35,363
Immigrant visas: 7,179
Nonimmigrant visas: 13,499
Immigrant visas: 2,010
Nonimmigrant visas: 10,061
Immigrant visas: 1,901
Nonimmigrant visas: 5,080
Immigrant visas: 1,642
Nonimmigrant visas: 4,525
Immigrant visas: 3,143
Nonimmigrant visa: 3,303
Immigrant visas: 272
Nonimmigrant visas: 331
Immigrant visas: 1,078
These people endured a rigorous screening process before obtaining the desired visa.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters