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U.S. to resume refugee admissions from 'high-risk' countries

The United States will resume accepting refugees from 11 "high-risk" nations — Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — after suspending admissions this past fall, the Trump administration said Monday.

Refugee entrance from these countries was halted for a 90-day review on Oct. 24, the same day the comprehensive refugee ban expired. The review has now been completed by intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.

As admissions resume, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the administration "will be rolling out new security measures for applicants from high-risk countries which will seek to prevent the program from being exploited by terrorists, criminals, and fraudsters." The new screening requirements will be added on top of an already rigorous process, though no fatal terrorist act has been committed by a refugee admitted under modern screening procedure instituted in 1980. The annual refugee admission cap remains at a record low of 45,000.