WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday allowed the resumption of refugee admissions into the U.S. under new, stricter screening rules but ordered nationals from 11 countries believed to pose higher risk to U.S. national security to face even tougher scrutiny.
Officials refused to identify the 11 countries, but said refugee applications from those nations will be judged case-by-case.
Mr. Trump issued his new order on refugee screening as the administration's four-month ban on refugee admissions expired. It directs federal agencies to resume refugee processing, which he clamped down on shortly after taking office.
"With a world facing brutal and protracted conflicts like in Syria, or new levels of displacement and unimaginable violence against the Rohingya - this moment is a test of the world's humanity, moral leadership and ability to learn from the horrors of the past," she said. Sime was referring to the mounting refugee crisis in Myanmar, where more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape retaliation from security forces.
Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, called the White House's new restrictions "remarkable," and called on the administration to "at least have the decency to be transparent about what they are doing, and name the nationalities affected."
"Since 9/11, and the admission of nearly one million refugees, there has been no case of an admitted refugee in the United States being responsible for the death of an American due to an act of terror," Schwartz said in a statement released Tuesday.
"There is little indication that any serious review of the so-called SAO countries was even attempted during the many months during which a review was supposed to be taking place," he alleged, calling the new screening effort, "a tragic example of evidence-free policymaking."
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