Thirty-thousand is a lot of damn people.
It’s the number of people who, according to a new report, have been denied entry into the United States thus far by Donald Trump’s travel ban.
CNN reports that it was Edward Ramotowski, deputy assistant secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, who spilled the beans. On Tuesday, he testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “there’s approximately 31,334 refusals up to Sept. 14, 2019.”
During a nearly three-hour House hearing, Democratic lawmakers slammed officials over the travel ban enacted by the Trump administration that primarily targets mostly Muslim-majority countries.
The travel restrictions, which were upheld by the Supreme Court last year, currently affect Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was removed from the list last April, after the White House said the country improved security measures.
Remember that time that Trump demanded a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States? Those words came back to bite him when they were cited as justification for federal courts to reject the first two versions of his travel ban in 2017. Ultimately, a third version of the ban went into effect in December of that year, courtesy of the Supreme Court.
During his testimony, Ramotowski noted that some visa applicants may qualify for an exception or be eligible for a waiver from the State Department, but Democrats called bullshit on the travel ban being an effective way to protect American citizens.
“The Muslim ban has not made us safer,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said. “It has weakened our standing in the world and runs contrary to our country’s moral and philosophical foundation. The United States has always been, and must continue to be, a place that welcomes and embraces people of all religions and nationalities.”
If you want to make America safer, ban white men from owning assault rifles. Otherwise, let’s just call this travel ban what it is: legalized xenophobia.