President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” is still in the courts; however, the State Department issued figures demonstrates that the new administration has issued fewer visas visitors from Arab and Muslim countries particularly compared to last year, POLITICO reported.
Non-immigrant visas have never been easily granted to people from Arab and Muslim-majority countries, especially after 9/11 events; however, non-immigrant visas granted to Arab and Muslims from the mentioned countries declined by 20 percent in April compared to last year’s monthly average.
Arab and Muslim countries plight
In fact, non-immigrant visas issued to visitors from Arab countries only declined nearly 30 percent in April compared to the 2016 monthly average. In other words, almost 24,000 visas were issued in April for people from the 22 states in the Arab League compared to monthly average of 34,000 in 2016
According to POLITICO, The travel ban goes too far when comes to six countries targeted by Trump’s March 6 travel ban — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — as they declined down 55 percent compared to the 2016 monthly average.
The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs tried to explain and maybe justify the apparent difference between this April’s and last years’ issued visas to Arab and Muslim-majority states.
William Cocks, a spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs said, “Visa demand is cyclical, not uniform throughout the year, and affected by various factors at the local and international level.”
He continued, “Visa issuance numbers tend to increase during peak travel seasons, such as during the summer and the winter holidays, though there may be different trends in the country, nationality, or visa category level.”
There are speculations provoked at the prospects of Trump’s administration paralyzing visits to the U.S. worldwide; non-immigrant visas issued to visitors from all countries declined by 15 percent in April compared to the 2016 monthly average; however, non-immigrant visas issued to all countries increased by 5 percent in March.