According to the latest numbers from the State Department, more than 37,000 visa applications were denied by the United States, thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several Middle Eastern countries known as hotbeds of terrorism. The ban, which was challenged in court by blue states like Hawaii and California, as well as the ACLU, was ultimately permitted to go forward by the Supreme Court in 2017. And while there is no way to know how many terrorists were kept out of the United States thanks to the ban, we can rest assured that under this administration, our country’s international immigration and visitation rules are no longer in complete chaos.
To be sure, 37,000 visa applications are a drop in the bucket when compared to the total number of visas the U.S. rejects every year. Federal government documents show that nearly 4 million would-be immigrants to the U.S. are rejected annually. And there is no way to know how many people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, and others on the travel ban list simply decided there was no reason to apply for a visa since the ban was in effect. Thus, the total number kept out of the country could be even higher.
President Trump implemented the ban shortly after taking office in an effort to stem the flow of terrorists into this country from havens in the Middle East. Derided as a “Muslim ban” by the left, the executive order left many Muslim countries completely out of the equation while also targeting countries like North Korea that probably don’t have but a handful of practicing Muslims in their entire population. But the left could never get past Trump’s campaign speech, where he called for a “complete and total shutdown” of Muslim immigration in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
The courts bought into that line of argument, ruling time and again that because Trump said that on the campaign trail, he was somehow “less than” President of the United States. Meaning, in other words, that a single speech during the campaign could somehow force Trump to forfeit his legal powers as President. It was an absurd and illogical point of argument, but it was enough for several liberal judges to block the ban.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court was able to see through this nonsense and lift the injunctions.