The United States will resume admissions for refugees from 11 countries identified as presenting a high security risk, but with extra vetting for these mostly Middle Eastern and African nations, senior U.S. officials said.
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 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.
During the review period, which lasted from late October to last week, admissions of refugees from those countries dropped sharply, according to a Reuters analysis of State Department data.