WASHINGTON — The Trump administration's worldwide temporary ban on refugees entering the U.S. ended Tuesday, with President Donald Trump signing an executive order allowing the resumption of admissions but with new, enhanced screening measures.
Under the enhanced security measures, the U.S. will now consider biographic data from refugee applicants, as well as analyze their social media presence.gi
According to a State Department memo reported by Reuters, required data will include phone, email and address information going back 10 years for all locations the applicants have lived for more than 30 days. Current phone numbers and email addresses for families of refugees will also be required.
The executive order, which comes at the end of a 120-day ban on most refugees, also put in place a 90-day review of 11 countries which the administration has previously deemed "high risk." The White House declined to name those countries.
During the review period, refugees from those countries will be considered on a "case by case basis," senior administration officials said Tuesday, with a look at whether their admission is in America's interest and whether they pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States.
Asked by NBC News whether that review could, in the end, result in refugees from any of these 11 countries being denied entry, officials declined to comment.
In September, the Trump administration issued a new round of travel restrictions on foreigners from eight countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen — but it is unclear whether those countries are among the 11 being reviewed.
Trump's controversial "travel ban," which temporarily halted the entry of refuges into the United States, was first issued in January and then again in March before being held up in court throughout the summer. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed the final lawsuit challenging the White House's original ban, but the legal battle is still ongoing in lower courts.
The ban came after a campaign where Trump repeatedly called for the blanket banning of all Muslims into the country and complained that refugees allowed into the United States could be a great "Trojan Horse" that could harm America if left unchecked.