U.S. District Judge James Robart from Washington state partially blocked President Trump’s newest restrictions on refugee admissions on Saturday.
The decision by Robart is the first hit on the rules the Trump administration put into place in late October. The new ruled by Trump have contributed significantly to a drop in the number of refugees being admitted into the country.
According to Reuters, On Oct. 24, the Trump administration effectively paused refugee admissions from 11 countries mostly in the Middle East and Africa, pending a 90-day security review, which was set to expire in late January.
The countries subject to the review are Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. For each of the last three years, refugees from the 11 countries made up more than 40 percent of U.S. admissions. A Reuters review of State Department data showed that as the review went into effect, refugee admissions from the 11 countries plummeted.
Robart ruled that the administration could carry out the security review, but that it could not stop processing or admitting refugees from the 11 countries in the meantime, as long as those refugees have a “bona fide” connection to the United States.
As part of its new restrictions, the Trump administration had also paused a program that allowed for family reunification for refugees, pending further security screening procedures being put into place.
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