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Trump's ban on refugees, immigrants impacts more people than administration says

Immigrants with valid visas, like the family from

Immigrants with valid visas, like the family from Iraq seen on Jan. 30, 2017, above, were not allowed to board flights to the Unites States following President Donald Trump's ban on immigrants from seven countries. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Safin Hamed

President Donald Trump said Monday that 109 people had been detained at airports over the weekend as a result of his ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus repeated that number, but it's not clear where it came from. 

According to a Department of Homeland Security document, 109 people is far from accurate. 

The internal DHS document, which was seen and reported on by Reuters, said that between Friday and Monday, more than 735 people, including 394 legal permanent residents with green cards, were pulled aside for questioning at airports and 200 people were denied entry.

Additionally, 348 visa holders were prevented from boarding U.S.-bound flights in the same time period.

And those numbers are just from the first weekend of the 90-day ban on immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, the 120-day ban on refugees and indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

The number of people who could ultimately be affected is even higher.

According to State Department reports, there were close to 90,000 immigrant or nonimmigrant visas issued to people in the seven countries included in the ban in the 2015 fiscal year. 

According to the UN refugee agency, there are more than 21.3 million refugees worldwide.

While not all of these people are attempting to enter the United States, the ban would apply to them.


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