Homeland Security Department announces new security procedures for Refugee Admissions Program

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced Monday additional security procedures and recommendations for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

The additions include additional screening for certain nationals of countries identified as high-risk, a periodic review and update of the refugee high-risk country list and selection criteria as well as a more “risk-based” approach to considering the overall refugee admissions ceiling, regional allocations, and groups of applicants considered for resettlement.

“It’s critically important that we know who is entering the United States,” 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. The United States must continue to fulfill its obligation to the global community to assist those facing persecution and do so in a manner that addresses the security of the American people.”

The changes follow a 90-day review in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with other departments and agencies, worked to determine what additional safeguards, if any, are needed to ensure that admitting nationals from the 11 countries identified as high-risk does not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.

The 90-day review was conducted in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13815, Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program With Enhanced Vetting Capabilities.

Kevin Randolph

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