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Trump Administration Refugee ‘Ban’ Lifted

“Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States…”

As intended, the Trump administration has lifted the court-challenged temporary June ban on the U.S. accepting refugees from all countries for 120 days as new vetting procedures are put in place.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, those from 11 targeted countries of concern will be subject to new additional vetting rules and procedure are put in place to screen applicants. The new protocol includes the collection of expanded biographical data as well as social media mining. More effort will also be made to cross reference data collected with the individual’s interview and public pronouncements, such as social media posts. New guidance and fraud detection training is also in store for government officials who do the screening and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.

Critics argue the process is already too lengthy and the additional (and unnecessary some say) vetting will only cause further delay, especially as they claim refugees generally flee without verifiable identification documents.

Critics argue the process is already too lengthy and the additional (and unnecessary some say) vetting will only cause further delay, especially as they claim refugees generally flee without verifiable identification documents.  Still, as President Donald Trump declared in his Executive Order, “Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States,” the order said. “They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees.”

It’s pertinent to mention the Obama administration also sought social media vetting, particularly in the wake of the husband-wife San Bernardino Christmas party jihad in 2015. During the course of that terrorism investigation, FBI Director James B. Comey revealed before the couple got married and the wife came to the U.S., the couple exchanged online messages “showing signs in their communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom, according to a report by The Washington Post. However, the Obama administration effort to better screen social media was hampered by a lack of resources to do so.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Trump administration will be more effective to this end with the new vetting policies in place, or if the partisan fury against the Trump “refugee ban” will recede now that it is officially over.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Sheena Hutchison

Sheena Hutchison is a political and media analyst with nearly a decade of experience specializing in providing media and policy articulation on domestic and national security issues.

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