Donald Trump will sign executive orders this week to temporarily limit immigration from Syria and several other majority-Muslim countries, and to block all refugees to the US for several months, Reuters and the Washington Post reported on Jan. 24.
According to Reuters, immigration will be blocked from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen—some of the countries that have suffered the most after the US-led invasion of Iraq that led to the creation of the Islamic State terrorist group. The Washington Post reports that a block on immigrants from some majority-Muslim countries would last 30 days.
Refugees from all countries will be blocked from the US for several months until the vetting process is strengthened, Reuters reports, citing Congressional aides and immigration experts. CNN also reported on the plans for tighter restrictions, citing a Congressional source.
On the campaign trail, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
The US vetting process for refugees already takes about 18 months, and involves extensive screening through the US State Department and other agencies, religious groups have stressed. More than 800,000 refugees from all over the world have been resettled in the US since 9/11. As of 2015, three had been arrested on terrorism charges.
The US admitted 69,920 people as refugees during 2015, according to the US Department of Homeland Security. Burma, Iraq, and Somalia were the leading countries of origin.
After the Paris attacks of November 2015, governors of more than half the states in the US vowed to ban Syrians refugees from their states, raising an outcry from some Christian church groups that have settled refugees in the US for generations.
The executive orders Trump is reportedly preparing to sign this week are likely to cause another outcry, from humanitarian groups, United Nations officials, and foreign leaders.