April 05, 2019

Van Hollen Releases New State Department Data on Travel Ban

Data Shows Staggering Rate of Denial – Adding Questions to Legality of Ban

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen released new statistics from the U.S. Department of State in response to his October 12, 2018 letter pressing for more information regarding the travel ban and waiver process. Senator Van Hollen has consistently raised concerns about the executive order and pushed for more data on the program, making some of the first statistics publicly available in March of last year. Additionally, Senator Van Hollen’s provision requiring the State Department to provide detailed information on the travel ban was signed into law and the first reporting deadline is May 15, 2019.

“This data paints a clear – and deeply disturbing – picture of the Trump Travel Ban. The Administration repeatedly swore to the Supreme Court and the American people that this was not a de-facto Muslim ban and that there was a clear waiver process to ensure fairness. That couldn’t be further from reality,” said Senator Van Hollen. “With only 6 percent of people who apply actually receiving waivers, the President is barring tens of thousands of people from our country for no discernable reason. This only weakens the security of Americans by playing into the hands of enemies like ISIS, and we must overturn this senseless ban.”

The full text of the letter is available here. As the data shows, over the period of December 8, 2017 – October 31, 2018

  • 48,656 immigrant visa and non-immigrant visa applications were subject to restrictions under the travel ban
  • 36,309 were denied visas with waiver consideration
  • 8,149 of those applications were denied for reasons unrelated to the travel ban
  • 1,546 applicants met the criteria for waiver and received a visa
  • 670 met the criteria for a waiver but have not yet received a visa