US granting fewer visitor visas: report

US granting fewer visitor visas: report
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The Trump administration is granting fewer visas to foreigners wanting to visit the U.S., according to a report from Politico.

The U.S. granted 13 percent fewer visitor visas in the last 12 months than in all of fiscal 2016, according to State Department data analyzed by the news outlet.

The decline in visas granted reportedly accelerated in the past six months, though it is unclear if it is because fewer people are applying for visas or if more people are being rejected. Politico says it is likely a combination of both.

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The State Department issued 9.7 million visitor visas in fiscal 2017, down from 10.4 million in fiscal 2016.

Under former President Obama, the U.S. increased the number of visitor visas from 5.8 million granted in fiscal 2009 to a peak of 10.9 million in fiscal 2015.

The drop comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE revives his anti-immigrant rhetoric and calls for hard-line immigration policies.

Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to blame Democrats and Mexico for allowing immigrants to enter the country illegally. He also blamed Democrats for the lack of a deal to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

According to the data analyzed by Politico, Arab and Muslim nations had the largest drops in visitor visas.

Early in his tenure, Trump tried to implement a travel ban for people from majority-Muslim nations. After his first orders were struck down in court, he ordered a travel ban that will be debated by the Supreme Court this month.

The U.S. over the last year was focused on identifying the threat risks of people entering the country, a spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department told Politico.