“It is the policy of the United States to protect its people from terrorist attacks and other public-safety threats.”
Tuesday, Trump issued an Executive Order, reinstating the refugee resettlement program. The program, which was temporarily suspended under a previous travel Executive Order will resume with enhanced vetting for individuals coming from 11 unnamed countries.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday to restart the refugee resettlement program, which was suspended for 120 days as part of the president’s travel ban. The order initiates a new 90-day review period for the administration to conduct an “in-depth threat assessment” of the 11 countries, according to a senior administration official.
The administration did not disclose the 11 countries, but based on statements from senior administration officials they appear to be: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. All except for North Korea and South Sudan are majority-Muslim.
During the 90-day review period, refugee admissions from the 11 nations will be permitted on a case-by-case basis if the person’s entry is in the national interest and “poses no threat to the security or welfare of the United States,” the official said.
Detractors of strict vetting in immigration policy often claim such policies unfairly discriminate against Muslims, failing to consider radicalized individuals and threats to the homeland often come from so-called state sponsors of terror, which just happen to be Muslim majority countries.
The order reads:
It is the policy of the United States to protect its people from terrorist attacks and other public-safety threats. Screening and vetting procedures associated with determining which foreign nationals may enter the United States, including through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), play a critical role in implementing that policy. Those procedures enhance our ability to detect foreign nationals who might commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism, or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States, and they bolster our efforts to prevent such individuals from entering the country.
…Section 2 of Proclamation 9645 of September 24, 2017 (Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats), suspended and limited, subject to exceptions and case-by-case waivers, the entry into the United States of foreign nationals of eight countries. As noted in that Proclamation, those suspensions and limitations are in the interest of the United States because of certain deficiencies in those countries’ identity-management and information-sharing protocols and procedures, and because of the national security and public-safety risks that emanate from their territory, including risks that result from the significant presence of terrorists within the territory of several of those countries.
According to Politico, a spokesman for DHS said Tuesday the order would help secure the refugee admissions process:
Jonathan Hoffman, assistant secretary for public affairs at DHS, told reporters Tuesday that the process helped officials develop a more secure refugee admissions system.
“As a result of this review, the federal government has implemented enhancements that have raised the bar for vetting and screening procedures,” Hoffman said. He cited “increased data collection, better information sharing between State and DHS, and new training procedures to strengthen … our ability to detect fraud and deception.”
The refugee portion of Trump’s travel orders was hotly contested and an injunction granted by the lower courts was ultimately stayed by the Supreme Court.
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