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Trump Signs 'Extreme Vetting' Order to Block Refugees

"We are establishing new vetting measures, to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," Trump said.
January 28, 2017, 1:40am
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

On Friday, President Donald Trump pledged to "keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America" by signing an executive order aimed at creating stricter vetting for immigrants from countries plagued by terrorism.

According to Yahoo News, Trump signed the document at a swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Pentagon.

Trump's order calls for a temporary ban on all  refugees seeking entry to the United States for 120 days, as well as a 90-day visa ban for visitors and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and other "areas of concern." Refugees from Syria will be barred until "significant changes" that are "consistent with the national interest" are made.

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Furthermore, Trump's order gives precedent to Christian Syrians who apply for refugee status in a provision that gives preferential treatment to minority groups seeking asylum "on the basis of religious-based persecution."

Though not mentioning Islam by name, the order seeks to keep out "those who would place violent ideologies over American law."

"In addition," it continues, "the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation."

The order also suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program, a service that permits certain legal immigrants from renewing their documents without a face-to-face interview.

"We are establishing new vetting measures, to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," Trump said Friday. "We don't want 'em here. We want to ensure we aren't admitting into our country the very threats that our men and women are fighting overseas."

Many organizations, including the ACLU, denounced the order as Islamophobic.

UPDATE 8:36 PM EST: This post has been updated with newly released text from the executive order.

We're tracking the laws and executive orders Trump signs in his first year in office. The updated list is here.