During a near three-hour parliamentary hearing, Democratic lawmakers lied to officials over a travel ban passed by the Trump administration that targets most Muslim countries.
Travel restrictions that were met by the Supreme Court last year are currently affecting Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was removed from the list last April after the White House said the country was improving security measures.
Eduard Ramotowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services at the Bureau of Consular Affairs, stated that there were "approximately 31,334 denials by September 14, 2019."
Some visa applicants may be eligible for State department, or fall under one of the department's exceptions, he added.Ramotovski told lawmakers on Tuesday that the department had issued more than 7,600 refusals.
According to data provided by the department in February, in the first 11 months of the ban, last October, only 5.9% of visa applicants were refused, and another 29% were waiting for "administrative processing. "
Ramotowski said that about 72,000 people applied in total, saying that about 15,000 cases were still going through the security process.
After Trump repeatedly said during his campaign that he would ban everyone Muslims to enter US, federal courts cite his words for blocking the first two versions of his travel ban in 2017.
In December 2017, the Supreme Court allowed a third version of the ban to enter into force and ultimately it confirmed the ban last June.
Democrats introduced h elected and targeted the administration's argument that the ban was for national security purposes.
"The ban on Muslims has not made us any safer," said House Judiciary President Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat. " weaken our position in the world and contradict the moral and philosophical basis of our country. The United States has always been, and must continue to be, a place that welcomes and embraces people of all religions and nationalities. "
On April 10, Democrats tabled a bill known as the Prohibition Act in Parliament and the Senate to repeal it. the ban, but the measure is not expected to get under the control of the GOP-controlled Senate.
CNN's Bob Ortega contributed to this report.