Trump signs ‘extreme vetting’ order to limit immigration
US President Donald Trump has announced new vetting measures to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.
He signed a wide-ranging executive order which, among other measures, bans Syrian refugees until further notice.
It also put a cap of 50,000 refugees entering the US in 2017 – less than half the previous upper limit.
In a TV interview broadcast on Friday, the president said Christians would be given priority among Syrians who apply for refugee status in the future.
He signed the executive order at the Pentagon after a ceremony to swear in Gen James Mattis as defence secretary.
During the ceremony, Mr Trump said: “I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.
We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”
The text of the order was released several hours after it was signed. Among the measures are:
Suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days
A ban on refugees from Syria until “significant changes” are made
A 90-day suspension on arrivals from Iraq, Syria, and “areas of concern” – reported to include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen
To prioritise future refugee applications on the basis of religious-based persecution – but only if the person is part of a minority religion in their home country
A cap of 50,000 refugees in 2017 – less than half of Mr Obama’s upper limit
However, a mention of creating “safe zones” within Syria, seen in an earlier draft, was removed from the final order.
The order also said all immigration programmes should include questions to “evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society.”
Other measures include a broad review of the information required from all countries to approve a visa; a review of visa schemes between nations to ensure they are “truly reciprocal” for US citizens; and the immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Programme.
But the document also says exceptions to most restrictions could be made on a case-by-case basis.
Culled from: BBC NEWS