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Trump suspends refugee arrivals, vowing to weed out Islamic radicals

Jan 28. 2017
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By Agence France-Presse

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US President Donald Trump unleashed a wave of alarm Saturday with his order to temporarily halt all refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries including war-wracked Syria.

Making good on one of his most controversial campaign promises, and to the horror of human rights groups, Trump said he was making America safe from "radical Islamic terrorists."

"This is big stuff," he declared at the Pentagon, after signing an executive order entitled "Protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States."

Trump's decree suspends the entire US refugee resettlement program for at least 120 days while tough vetting rules are established.

These new protocols will "ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States."

In addition, it specifically bars Syrian refugees from the United States indefinitely, or until the president himself decides that they no longer pose a threat.

Meanwhile, no visas will be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from seven mainly-Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In reaction to the order the United Nations on Saturday urged the US to continue its "strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those fleeing conflict and persecution."

In a joint statement the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration said they believed "refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.”

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