Trump’s travel ban and Philly: More than 2,200 city immigrants likely affected

Of the seven countries facing travel restrictions, the most residents are from Iraq.

Philly Travel ban
Joan Brady/Wikimedia Commons

The four people detained Saturday at PHL Airport were eventually released, and two days of protests have ended. But for thousands of Philadelphians, the effects of President Donald Trump’s travel ban could be long-lasting.

More than 2,000 city residents were born in the seven countries affected by the ban. Unless they have become U.S. citizens, they could face difficulties in returning to Philly after travel abroad. Trump’s travel ban, enacted Friday, prohibits visa holders from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya from entering the United States for 90 days. Some permanent residents from those countries, i.e. green card holders, were being blocked from entering the country over the weekend. Trump spokesperson Sean Spicer, however, said Sunday they would no longer be blocked.  

Here’s how many people from these countries live in Philadelphia, according to Census data from 2015, the most recent year for which this information is available. Libya is not included in the Census data.   

  • Iraq: 796
  • Iran: 495
  • Yemen: 83
  • Syria: 218
  • Sudan: 626
  • Somalia: 34

These numbers are most likely higher, considering that in 2016 nearly 200 refugees from Syria moved to Philadelphia. More than 80 Iraqi refugees also moved here.

Trump’s executive order also banned the entry of refugees from any country for the next 120 days. Philadelphia has seen an average of 750 refugees settled here each year for the last few years, so that number could end up dropping in 2017.

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