PoliticsForeign Policy


The US Will Start Admitting Refugees Again — With 'Enhanced Vetting'

Officials told reporters that under the new rules, the Trump administration will use "enhanced vetting" procedures to screen all refugees.
Posted at 10:19 AM, Oct 25, 2017

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to start letting refugees into the U.S. again. But now, they'll face even tougher screening measures.

Under the new rules, officials told reporters the Trump administration will use "enhanced vetting" procedures to screen all refugees, like collecting more biographical information and scrutinizing social media accounts.

Trump issued the executive order Tuesday, just as a previous directive that banned refugee admissions for 120 days was set to expire.

But officials reportedly said the order initiates an extra 90-day review period for 11 countries considered to be higher risk. Officials refused to name those 11 nations, citing "law enforcement sensitivities." 

Several reports have identified them as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Refugee applications from the 11 countries will reportedly be considered on a case-by-case basis. And officials say refugees will be allowed to enter the U.S. as long as authorities determine their entry is in the national interest and that they don't pose a threat to Americans. 

Still, the new rules won't change the number of refugees the U.S. will accept in the next year.

Last month, the Trump administration proposed limiting refugee arrivals for the 2018 fiscal year to 45,000 — the lowest level since the Refugee Act was created.