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US to accept refugees again, with enhanced security for 11 nations

US to accept refugees again, with enhanced security for 11 nations
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The Trump administration will begin accepting refugees into the United States, ending a 120-day freeze on America's refugee program but placing more strict vetting requirements on applicants from “high-risk nations,” according to news reports.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that applicants from 11 nations will be required to submit more biographical information to allow Homeland Security officials to determine whether applicants have links to radical Islamic terror or “criminal activity.”

An official told the Post that the list of the 11 nations is likely to remain a secret.

“It’s classified, and I expect it will stay classified,” the official said.

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The move follows President Trump's order for the Department of Homeland Security to develop "extreme vetting" procedures for refugees, as well as the administration's decision in September to admit the fewest number of refugees in the next year since the Refugee Act was passed in 1980.

The number of refugees that will be allowed to be admitted to the U.S. in 2018 was slashed to 45,000 last month. Officials said at the time that this number represents the maximum number of refugees possible under the administration's new vetting standards.

“The safety and the security of the American people is No. 1, and we want to make sure no one is allowed through who would endanger the safety of the American people,” one official said.

Trump told the United Nations in September that the U.S. should focus on resettling refugees in their home region, rather than bringing them to the United States.

“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region,” Trump said in his September address to the U.N. General Assembly. “This is the safe, responsible and humanitarian approach.”