Tuesday, January 31, 2017

No, The Muslim Travel Ban Does Not Only Affect 109

From Politico's Morning Edition
CONFUSION DEEPENS OVER TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN: "Uncertainty about President Donald Trump's "extreme vetting" policies continued to roil travelers, airlines and foreign governments Monday, as U.S. immigration officials made decisions on the fly about how to apply the directives - despite White House attempts to downplay the fallout," POLITICO's Ted Hesson and Jennifer Scholtes report. 
Three days in, "lawyers were still struggling to reach clients being questioned at U.S. ports of entry," they write. "Meanwhile, customs agents were handling entries for green-card holders on a case-by-case basis, and European governments were giving conflicting instructions to people with dual nationalities - both topics on which the Trump administration had sent decidedly mixed signals." More for Pros here.

NO, THE TRAVEL BAN DOESN'T AFFECT ONLY 109: The Trump administration is beguiled by the number 109. Trump mentioned it in a tweet Monday morning ("Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held"), then Sean Spicer repeated it at the daily press briefing ("Remember we're talking about a universe of 109 people. 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").
But the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler says the 109 figure is "rather dubious." Federal officials haven't responded to requests for updates on the number of people detained in airports, Kessler notes, and even if they did, that number wouldn't tell the whole story. It omits, for example, the 348 people who weren't permitted to board their planes from the time the executive order was signed through 6 p.m. Sunday. Nor does it include a reported 200 to 250 people who made it onto the plane but were not permitted U.S. entry once their planes landed.
The total universe of visa holders from the seven majority-Muslim countries targeted by the order who could be affected, Kessler writes, numbers more like 90,000. "According to State Department statistics, that's how many people received either nonimmigrant or immigrant visas from the seven affected countries in fiscal year 2015 ... . it serves as a usable proxy for the likely universe of people affected by Trump's travel ban," Kessler writes. More from the Post here.

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