Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees entering the country is no longer in effect and the administration will implement a procedure involving greater scrutiny of applications, a State Department official said.
“The suspension of processing refugees ends today, October 24,” Efe news quoted the State Department official as saying on Tuesday on condition of anonymity..
The refugees from 11 unidentified countries will only be allowed into the country under exceptional circumstances for the next 90 days, while the US government conducts a review of those nations.
The measures “are designed to intensify screening in order to keep nefarious and fraudulent actors from exploiting the refugee process to enter the United States. The measures come at the end of a 120-day ‘pause’ on refugee resettlement, while the United States government conducted a thorough review of the existing programme”, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.
“The security of the American people is this administration’s highest priority and these improved vetting measures are essential for American security,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke.
“These new, standardized screening measures provide an opportunity for the United States to welcome those in need into our country, while ensuring a safer, more secure homeland.”
The State and Homeland Security Departments, along with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “conducted a review of the United States Refugee Admissions Programme application and adjudication process” to determine “what additional procedures should be used to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat to the security and welfare” of the US.
As a result of the review, the US government will implement “programme enhancements to raise the bar for vetting and screening procedures, including but not limited to: increased data collection to more thoroughly investigate applicants, better information sharing between agencies to identify threat actors, and new training procedures to strengthen screener ability to detect fraud and deception”, the DHS said.
The State Department said that it will launch an additional in-depth review into the refugees of the 11 nations previously identified as potentially presenting a greater risk to the US.
The US will not identify the 11 nations in question because that would make its efforts to enforce the law more difficult, said a government official, requesting anonymity.
Trump issued the ban last March, but it did not enter into force until June when the US prohibited for 120 days entry to refugees from all over the world.
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