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US Lifts Visa Ban on Refugees from Muslim Countries

WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday lifted a ban on refugees from 11 ‘high-risk’ countries including North Korea, the US media said.

According to US media reports, these countries are understood to be 10 Muslim-majority nations including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen plus North Korea.

The travellers from these countries will go through tougher scrutiny process before entering the US. The process also includes interviews of applicants’ family members.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday that having the complete information of people entering the country was ‘critically important.’

“It’s critically important that we know who is entering the United States,” she 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 Trump administration had put a ban on  11 countries in October in 2017 as it revised refugee policy. Refugee Act was created in 1980.

According to British newswire service, only 23 people from those 11 nations have entered the US since October. These 23 people have been allowed in as Seattle’s federal judge has partially blocked the Trump’s directions.

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