L.A. Is Home To More People From Trump's 7 Country List Than Any Other City In The Nation
A week ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order severely limiting travel to the U.S. for individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries. The so-called travel ban (or "Muslim ban" depending upon whom you ask) sparked global protests, and chaos at airports across the country. The response was particularly strong in Los Angeles, where thousands of people turned out to protest through the weekend and into the workweek at Los Angeles International Airport, a small army of volunteer lawyers and translators set up shop in the international terminal to offer their services pro bono.
Los Angeles, as everyone knows, is a city of immigrants. But what many may not realize is that L.A. is, in fact, home to more individuals from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—the seven countries on the list—than any other city in the nation.
"Los Angeles has more people who are residents from the countries that were banned by the initial executive orders than any other city in America by almost threefold," Mayor Eric Garcetti told a group of reporters at LAX on Thursday. "Detroit is the next biggest. We have over 170,000 people who may have family members connected in those countries," he continued. Garcetti was at LAX to welcome Ali Vayeghan as the Iranian man became the first individual turned away under President Trump's travel ban to be allowed to return to the United States. Vayeghan's plane landed just after 12:45 p.m. on Thursday.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the Brookings Institution (and cited today by our friends at LA Weekly), there are 160,800 immigrants from the designated seven countries now living in greater Los Angeles. The vast majority of those individuals are Iranian-born, which makes sense given Los Angeles' nickname "Tehrangeles" (a portmanteau of Los Angeles and Tehran). Here's what the full population breakdown looks like:
Source: Brookings Institution
"We don't shut the door on refugees," Garcetti stated at LAX on Thursday. "We are a city of sanctuary, of refuge, and also of defense of our constitution."