10 Cities With the Most Immigrants From Trump’s Banned Countries

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty | Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Article originally published February 2, 2017. 

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days has sparked widespread outrage, as well as some praise. The administration argues the new restrictions — which prohibit people from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen from entering the country unless they’re legal permanent residents — will keep Americans safe from terrorism. Critics strongly disagree.

The effects of the travel ban are being felt across the United States, no more so than in communities with large populations of immigrants from banned countries.

“Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that many places around the country — both large and small — are home to immigrant populations from the countries targeted by Trump’s executive order,” the Brookings Institution‘s Alan Berube wrote. In addition to large numbers of immigrants in big cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, many smaller cities have relatively high shares of residents from banned countries.

Modesto, California, has 7,800 immigrants from banned countries, or 14.9 per every 1,000 people, more than any other city but Detroit. In Rochester, Minnesota; Iowa City, Iowa; and Lincoln, Nebraska, immigrants from affected countries also make up a high share of the population.

Why are there so many immigrants from countries, including Iran, Iraq, and Syria, in these cities? The reasons are complex. Some, such as Rochester and Iowa City, are home to hospitals or universities that attract a lot of foreign professionals or students. Others, such as Minneapolis, are home to thousands of refugees. Los Angeles was a popular destination for Iranian immigrants in the 1980s following political upheaval in their country.

These 10 U.S. cities have the largest population of immigrants from banned countries, according to the Brookings Institution. The No. 1 city on the list has nearly 161,000 immigrants from banned countries.

Note: Data on the number of immigrants from Libya was not available.

10. Dallas-Fort Worth

Kurdish immigrants

Iraqi Kurds celebrate the Kurdish New Year in Lake Dallas, Texas | Karl Stolleis/Getty Images

Number of immigrants from banned countries: 18,000

Iranians make up the largest share of banned immigrants in Dallas. There are 8,700 people originally from Iran living in the city, along with 4,800 people from Iraq. There are between 1,000 and 2,000 people each from Sudan, Somalia, and Syria, as well as about 100 people from Yemen. Some are worried Trump’s ban on immigrants from Muslim countries could worsen an existing doctor shortage in the region, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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