Metro-East News

Illinois took in 11,000 refugees since 2007 from countries in Trump order

In this Feb. 1, 2017 photo, immigrant rights advocates protest President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration in Chicago. State legislators are attempting to boost immigrant protections in response to President Donald Trump's forceful orders on immigration, a move advocates say would essentially make Illinois a “sanctuary” state. One proposal says schools, medical facilities and places of worship don't have to give access to federal immigration authorities or local law enforcement working on their behalf.
In this Feb. 1, 2017 photo, immigrant rights advocates protest President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration in Chicago. State legislators are attempting to boost immigrant protections in response to President Donald Trump's forceful orders on immigration, a move advocates say would essentially make Illinois a “sanctuary” state. One proposal says schools, medical facilities and places of worship don't have to give access to federal immigration authorities or local law enforcement working on their behalf. AP

Before President Donald Trump temporarily banned most immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations and refugees from all nations, Illinois accepted nearly 11,000 people from those countries.

Trump’s order extended to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Between 2007 and January 2017, the United States took in about 270,000 refugees from those counties, according to data compiled by the Associated Press. 10,864 of the roughly 270,000 refugees came to Illinois.

The Trump administration indicated that the purpose of the ban was to stop possible terrorists from coming to America disguised as refugees, but no refugee from the seven countries on the ban committed an act of terrorism between 1975 and 2015, according to the Washington Post, citing research from the libertarian Cato Institute.

Most refugees who came to Illinois moved to the Chicago area, although pockets settled in the Quad Cities area and other smaller cities throughout the state.

The metro-east saw only one refugee, from Iraq, who was scheduled to move to Glen Carbon in 2007.

Illinois accepted the sixth-most refugees in the nation, according to the data set. California accepted the most with 56,000. Within Illinois, Chicago accepted the most refugees at 5,422. Skokie followed with 1,091. Rockford took in 905.

Other states that accepted more refugees than Illinois include Michigan with 25,000; Texas, 24,000; Arizona, 15,000; and New York, 11,000.

Wyoming accepted the fewest refugees — one Somalian was scheduled to move to Cheyenne in 2016.

Refugees from Iraq made up almost 72 percent of Illinois’ 10,800 refugees since 2007. Refugees from Syria made up just more than 10 percent.

Illinois took in the most refugees in the decade in 2016, when it accepted 1,571 people.

The data “tracks the movement of refugees from various countries around the world to the U.S. for resettlement under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” according to the U.S. State Department. It does not include other types of immigration or visits, according to the AP.

The data reflects the refugees’ stated destination in the United States, according to the AP. In many cases, this is where the refugees first lived, although many may have since moved.

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel

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