Muslim refugees to United States are declining as Christians overtake them

Fernando Stephens
July 14, 2017

The report, released by Pew Research Center on Wednesday, noted that Christians made up 50 percent of all refugee arrivals between January 21 and June 30.

In the wake of Trump's executive orders restricting travel to the United States from seven-and under the revised travel ban, six-Muslim-majority countries, the report said, "the religious affiliation of refugees has come under scrutiny".

Refugee applicants overseas with a "credible claim" of such a bona fide relationships are still being interviewed and vetted, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told CNN Tuesday, though a lot of them will not travel to the U.S. until the next fiscal year because of length of the vetting process.

The number of refugees admitted to the fiscal 2017 is expected to fall below the 85,000-person ceiling established by the Obama administration for fiscal 2016, when there were 84,995 refugee arrivals.

The quota of 50,000 was initially set by President Donald Trump as part of his travel ban executive order in January, but was shelved for several months as the legality of the order was contested in the U.S. court system. That order, though, also stipulated that those who can prove a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the USA must be allowed into the country.

Trump's 50,000 cap on refugees is the first time ever that a cap on refugees set by a USA president has been exceeded, with previous higher refugee caps enacted by Obama being fully enforced and not surpassed.

The administration will continue to accept people beyond its 50,000-refugee cap because of the high court's order.

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The rule excludes grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and brothers- and sisters-in-law.

More Christian than Muslim refugees have been admitted to the United States in the first months of the Trump administration, reversing a trend that had seen Muslims outnumber Christians in the final fiscal year under President Barack Obama, a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. State Department refugee data has found.

The statistics mark a shift away from the previous White House administration.

Controversially, the order also prioritized refugees from persecuted religious minority groups, a move that was perceived by some as an effort to increase the number of Christians from the Middle East relative to Muslims.

In recent months, under Trump, the origin of refugees coming to the US has changed, with Iran being the only Muslim-majority nation in the top six countries where refugees are mostly arriving from.

Huffington Post reported that 38,901 Muslim refugees came to the fiscal 2016, compared to 37,521 Christian refugees.

Other reports by BadHub

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