Visa Ban Touches Far More People Than First Thought

A lawyer for the United States government said in federal court in Virginia on Friday that more than 100,000 visas had been revoked
as part of President Trump’s policy halting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a move a judge said was causing “chaos,” a lawyer for the plaintiff said.
The 100,000 figure cited in court on Friday represented the first time the government had quantified the number of revoked visas. After the hearing, however, a State Department official provided a lower number, saying it was “fewer than 60,000.”
“To put that number in context, we issued over 11 million immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in fiscal year 2015,” said the official, William Cocks, a spokesman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department. “As always, national security is our top priority when issuing visas.”

“You could hear the gasps in the courtroom when he said that,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. He is a lawyer for the plaintiffs, two Yemeni brothers who said they had been coerced into signing away their rights to enter the country while in custody at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
“It’s more than 100,000 lives turned upside down,” said Mr. Sandoval-Moshenberg. “For every person not being allowed into the United States right now, there are family members and other people affected by that.”

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