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U.S. resumes refugee admissions with enhanced vetting rules

Staff Writer |
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that lifted his previous seven-month moratorium on refugee admissions, replacing it with what he has called "extreme vetting."

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The order allows the Trump administration to restart the Refugee Admissions Program under new rules on the special screening of refugees "whose entry continues to pose potential threats to the security and welfare of the United States."

The new vetting measures include more in-depth interviews of families seeking refugee status and biometric information to be checked against a various federal watch lists and databases.

These measures "provide an opportunity for the United States to welcome those in need into our country, while ensuring a safer, more secure homeland," said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke.

The order also initiates a new 90-day review period for the Trump administration to conduct an "in-depth threat assessment" on refugees from 11 countries on a case-by-case basis.

However, the Trump administration refused to identify the 11 countries.

The move came as the previous moratorium expired on Tuesday. Last month, Trump signed a separate directive setting the annual refugee cap at 45,000, the lowest annual limit since 1980.

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