THE United States will resume admissions for refugees from 11 countries identified as presenting a high security risk.
Senior U.S. officials said on Monday, that there will be extra vetting for these mostly Middle Eastern and African nations.
The changes came after a 90-day review of refugee admissions from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen by the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies.
The new rules are the latest changes to the U.S. refugee program made by the administration of President Donald Trump to address what it sees as national security issues.
Some of the administration’s actions, including an executive order to temporarily ban all refugees, have sparked lengthy court battles. Refugee advocates have said they see the administration’s actions as intended to reduce the number of refugees, particularly those from Muslim countries.
The changes announced on Monday include additional screening for certain people from the 11 countries, and a periodic review of a list of countries identified as presenting higher security risks.
The list of “high-risk” countries was last updated by the Obama administration in 2015, the senior administration officials said.
Since Oct. 25, the day the 90-day review went into effect, 46 refugees from the 11 countries have been allowed into the United States, according to State Department data.