About 1,000 refugees from other countries came to Georgia in the last three months of last year, but new arrivals maybe temporarily blocked by the Trump administration’s new, controversial immigration order.
About two-fifths of the refugees -- more than 400 people -- were from the seven mostly Muslim nations specifically targeted by the executive order signed by President Trump Friday. However, the immigration order halts all refugees, regardless of their nationality, from resettling in the U.S. for four months, and halts the arrival of all refugees coming in from war-torn Syria indefinitely.
Georgia took in 164 Syrians, 133 Somalians, 78 Iranians and 42 Iraqis, according to the most recent data from the federal Refugee Processing Center, which is part of the State Department. All four countries are also on the list of countries targeted for a general immigration halt.
The federal data did not show any refugees arriving in Georgia from the other nations specifically named in the executive order, Libya, Yemen or Sudan. The data did show two refugees arriving from the breakaway Republic of South Sudan.
Refugees come to Georgia from all over the world, the data shows. The largest single nationality for refugees arriving in Georgia in late 2016 was the 235 people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a troubled African nation. People from the Congo represented nearly a quarter of all refugees coming to Georgia in that quarter.
Georgia took in about 4 percent of all the refugees arriving in the U.S. from all the world's nations in that three-month period, the federal data shows.The state took in the eighth-largest number of refugees of the 50 states.
Additional federal data shows Georgia has received 2,603 refugees from Iraq since federal fiscal year 2007.
So far in fiscal year 2017, Georgia has also been the landing spot for an additional 10 Iraqis on what the State Department calls "special immigrant visas," which are granted to Afghan and Iraqi citizens who helped the U.S. government, such as by serving as translators, in their home countries. There were nine Iraqi SIV arrivals in Georgia in fiscal year 2016, federal data shows, and Georgia has taken in a total of 229 Iraqi SIVs since 2007.
Georgia has also taken in 59 SIVs from Afghanistan in the current fiscal year, though Afghanistan is not among the countries covered by the immigration order. The state got 157 Afghan SIVs in 2016, and has taken in 586 Afghan SIVs since 2007, the data shows.
About 1 Georgia refugee in 9 -- 112 people -- came from Burma, the southeast Asian country sometimes known as Myanmar that was run by a brutal military junta until a few years ago.
Below is a look at the 10 countries from which Georgia took in the greatest number of refugees in the last quarter of last year.
Georgia received refugees in that quarter from nearly two dozen countries, including Ethiopia, Moldova, Eritrea, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Burundi and Sierra Leone.
This story originally published at 1:42 p.m. Sunday and has been updated since then to add additional information.
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||235|
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.