“Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning.” — President Donald Trump, tweet, Jan. 30, 2017
“Remember we’re talking about a universe of 109 people. There were 325,000 people that came into this country over a 24 hour period from another country. 109 of them were stopped for additional screening.” — White House press secretary Sean Spicer, press briefing, Jan. 30, 2017
But all of these numbers fail to provide the full picture. The real number is about 90,000.
According to State Department statistics, that’s how many people received either nonimmigrant or immigrant visas from the seven affected countries in fiscal 2015. That’s the most recent data available, and different types of visas are available for different lengths of time, but it serves as a usable proxy for the likely universe of people affected by Trump’s travel ban. (Moreover, the data does not include people who are dual citizens, such as Dutch-Iranians, who also are impacted by the order.)
The executive order means that visa holders will not be able to travel to the United States for at least 90 days. Or, if they are in the United States currently, they will not be able to leave and assume that they can return before the travel suspension ends.
Here’s the breakdown by country:
Iran: 34,819 nonimmigrant visas, 7,179 immigrant visas
Iraq: 13,335 nonimmigrant visas, 2,010 immigrant visas
Syria: 9,770 nonimmigrant visas, 1,901 immigrant visas
Sudan: 5,039 nonimmigrant visas, 1,642 immigrant visas
Yemen: 4,472 nonimmigrant visas, 3,143 immigrant visas
Libya: 3,303 nonimmigrant visa, 272 immigrant visas
Somalia: 399 nonimmigrant visas, 1,078 immigrant visas