The United States Homeland security has lifted its ban on refugees from 11 different ‘high risk’ countries.
US officials did not specify which countries were taken off the banned list, but according to a state document seen by a Reuters staff the countries are: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as Palestinians who lived in these countries.
The countries listed are those whose refugees prior to the ban were required to undergo a higher-level security screening known as Security Advisory Opinions (SAOs).
Although this move will alleviate some of the tensions on the reform debate, The homeland security did clarify that criteria for gaining admission now would be significantly tougher. Kirstjen Nielsen Homeland Security Secretary stated:
“It’s critically important that we know who is entering the United States.
These additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program, and they ensure we take a more risk-based approach to protecting the homeland.”