On Friday, President Donald Trump overhauled US refugee policy — laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in how the US allows people to enter the country.
Trump signed an executive order Friday afternoon that bans all immigrants and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days, and opens the door to more country-based bans in future.
It also bans all refugee admissions for 120 days — and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. It slashes the US’s refugee quota for 2017 to less than half of the level set by President Obama, directs the US to prioritize “religious minorities” for the remaining slots, and bars all refugees from countries that aren’t specifically approved by the US government.
And it tasks the federal government with coming up with a new process to screen everyone hoping to immigrate to the US, one that requires each individual immigrant to prove she or he would be a “positively contributing member of society.”
Legal challenges to the order have already begun, and the Trump Administration and Department of Homeland Security have already begun scaling back the order’s gigantic scope to allow Green Card holders from the 7 countries into the US.