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Number of Visas Revoked Under Trump's Order Is Huge

A Justice Department lawyer says more than 100K visas were canceled
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2017 2:17 PM CST
Tens of Thousands Had Visas Revoked Under Trump's Order
Supporters cheer as an Iranian citizen with a valid US visa arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – While the number changes depending on which government agency you ask, one thing is clear: President Trump's executive order on immigration affected a whole lot more people than just those detained at airports last weekend, the New York Times reports. According to NBC News, Justice Department lawyer Erez Reuveni told a Virginia courtroom Friday that more than 100,000 visas had been revoked in the week since Trump's ban on refugees and visitors from seven Muslim countries went into effect. A lawyer for the Legal Aid Justice Center says "you could almost hear the collective gasp in the courtroom." The State Department later said it was actually fewer than 60,000 visas and that Reuveni included expired visas and visas exempt from the order, USA Today reports.

The visas, temporary permits to enter the US, were revoked under a State Department memo that went along with Trump's executive order but wasn't made public until later. Nearly every visa given to someone from Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan was canceled, whether they were currently in the US or not. Visa holders also weren't informed their visas were being revoked, meaning they could have left the country without realizing they couldn't get back in. Reuveni said that no one who is a legal permanent resident of the US or a green-card holder was kept from entering the country. (Read more visas stories.)

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