United States has lifted the ban on refugees from 11 countries the US has deemed high-risk but now those who are seeking to enter the country will be facing new security measures in the form of risk-based assessments.
The ban was first initiated by the Trump administration in October when he took office after campaigning on tough immigration policy. The ban covered refugees from 10 Muslim-majority nations and North Korea.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says that refugees will now go through risk-based assessments before admission. It is "important that we know who is entering" the US, Nielsen said.
"These additional security measures will make it harder for bad actors to exploit our refugee program, and they will ensure we take a more risk-based approach to protecting the homeland."
Although the Trump administration did not publicly name the countries, refugee groups say Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have all been affected by the ban.
Over the last three years, over 40% of refugees have been streaming into the United States from those 11 countries.
Once the Trump administration implemented the ban in October, refugee rates were cut in half to 45,000 in the fiscal year 2018 and only 23 from those 11 countries have entered the US since October.
The 23 people who were allowed in have a federal judge in Seattle to thank who blocked the administration's restrictions claiming refugees with signification ties to the United States would still be processed during the ban.
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