- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 24, 2017

The number of refugees entering the U.S. decreased by nearly half during President Trump’s first three months in office, newly released immigration data reveal.

About 13,000 refugees entered the U.S. during the first three months of the Trump administration, down from roughly 25,000 during former President Obama’s last months in office, according to statistics published by the Department of Homeland Security on Friday.

When compared to data from a year earlier, the statistics show 86 percent more refugees entered the U.S. during Mr. Obama’s last three months in the White House than at the end of 2015 when he still had a full year in office.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, saw 12 percent fewer arrivals during the first three months of 2017 than the Obama administration witnessed in the same span the year prior, according to the government’s statistics.

Roughly two-thirds of the refugees admitted at the end of Mr. Obama’s presidency as well as the start of Mr. Trump’s term have originated from the same five countries, DHS said: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Burma.

“Except for Syria, these were also the leading countries of nationality in the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2016,” the agency said.

Mr. Trump has signed two executive orders since taking office January 20 restricting citizens of several Muslim-majority countries, including Syria and Somalia, from traveling to the U.S., but both directives have been blocked in federal court.

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