Refugee Admissions From Terrorist Hotbeds Fell Over 80 Percent in Trump's First Year


Data shows that President Donald Trump is on his way to fulfilling another campaign promise: to limit refugee admissions from “terror-prone regions.”

There has been an 81 percent decline in the number of refugees from the seven countries identified as terrorist hotbeds since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center admissions data.

The number of refugees arriving from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya dropped from 45,114 in 2016 to 6,475 in 2017, Breitbart reported.

123 refugees arrived per day in the United States from those seven countries under the Obama administration in 2016.

In contrast, during the first eight months of the Trump administration, that number fell to 32 refugees arriving per day. In the last three months of 2017, only three refugees arrived per day.

Watch: Trump Defies Crowd, Takes On Libertarians at Their Own Convention After They Viciously Boo Him

These numbers show that Trump is well on his way to fulfilling more promises he made on the campaign trail.

“When I’m elected president, we will suspend the Syrian refugee program and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said in 2016, according to Breitbart.

Trump added, “And we will pause admissions from terror-prone regions until a full security assessment has been performed, and until a proven vetting mechanism has been established.”

The number of refugee arrivals from each of the seven “terrorist hotbeds” countries has also significantly dropped.

Do you think fewer refugees will come from the terrorist hotbeds in 2018?

Only 1,972 refugees came from Syria in 2017, an 88 percent decline from the 16,395 arrivals in 2016. Refugee arrivals from Iraq dropped 80 percent from 11,940 in 2016 to 2,308 in 2017.

There was a 77 percent decline in refugee arrivals from Somalia, with 10,811 arriving during former President Barack Obama’s final year in office and only 2,454 arriving during Trump’s first year in office.

Only 601 refugees came from Sudan in 2017, a 61 percent drop from the 1,524 that arrived in 2016.

The number of refugee arrivals from Libya and Yemen in 2017 was low with none coming from Libya and only 16 from Yemen.

Refugee admissions overall have declined by 70 percent since Trump took office.  From Jan. 21, 2017 to Jan. 20, 2018, only 29,620 refugees have been admitted into the U.S. The previous year, a total of 98,898 refugees were admitted under Obama.

Watch: Trump Defies Crowd, Takes On Libertarians at Their Own Convention After They Viciously Boo Him

The rapid decline of refugee admissions shows the broad effect of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. If the current admission rate continues, the number of refugees granted asylum in the U.S. will not come close to the 2018 refugee ceiling of 45,000 Trump set last year, Fox News reported.

“Our job is to balance the need to protect legitimate refugees with the need to protect our security,” Jennifer Higgins from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency told The Wall Street Journal.

The president of Refugees International, Eric Schwartz, told The Journal that the drop in refugee admissions is “enormously discouraging and dispiriting, and it is another reflection of this administration’s march away from the principle of humanity.”

Higgins dismissed allegations that the U.S. is “turning back on refugees,” citing that numbers usually fluctuate due to new initiatives and rescreening refugee applicants.

“The premise that we are turning our backs on them is patently wrong.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith