Washington, January 30: The Trump administration on Monday announced to lift the ban on refugees from 11 high-risk countries, but said those seeking to enter the United States will face much tougher scrutiny to weed out potential extremists and criminals.
Notably, in the month of October last year, Trump administration a new travel ban which includes Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The controversial step taken by President Trump is aimed at making the United States safe and secure from the terrorists.
From now onwards, applicants from 11 high-risk countries will face tougher scrutiny while entering in the United States as the administration wants to weed out potential extremists and criminals. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement said that it is critically important that we know who is entering the United States.
Kirstjen Nielsen further said, “These additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program, and they will ensure we take a more risk-based approach to protecting the homeland.” “The United States must continue to fulfill its obligation to the global community to assist those facing persecution and do so in a manner that addresses the security of the American people,” she added.
Meanwhile, a senior administration official said that the policy of enhanced security assessments for the 11 countries was not designed to target Muslims. "Our admissions have nothing to do with religion," the official said, adding that there is "nothing especially novel" about tougher screening for countries deemed to have a higher level of risk.
Earlier, Barack Obama had set refugee admission in fiscal 2017, which began on October 2016, at 110,000. Later, when Trump took over he slashed that to 53,000, a number that was cut again to a maximum of 45,000 in fiscal 2018.