The US government is temporarily lifting an entry stop for contingent refugees from eleven countries. In return, however, the process of reviewing whether refugees could potentially pose a security risk is being extended.
The government imposed the entry stop last year, without ever officially declaring which eleven countries are involved. According to concurring media reports, it has been Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Refugees from other states were also taken up so far.
It’s about refugees from UN camps
The new regulation concerns people living in refugee camps of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and coming from the eleven states mentioned. In principle, refugees living in UN camps can apply for relocation to another country. Nearly 30 states worldwide receive some of the refugees, and in total about one percent of all refugees registered in UN camps can be recommended for resettlement by the UNHCR.
Refugees who are recommended to relocate to the US will begin a full review process. Already under President Obama, the US has been considering stricter than any other country that also receives UNHCR refugees.
Resettlement candidates must conduct interviews with various US security agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. So far, this review process took 18 to 24 months. During this time, candidates must continue living in their UNHCR camp.
With the new stricter regulations that the US government has now enacted, this period will be extended.