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Trump admin pauses refugee family reunifications over security concerns – report

The Trump administration is temporarily halting a program to reunify refugees with their family members until more security measures are added, according to a memo obtained by Reuters.

The order temporarily delays the processing of refugee applications from 11 countries deemed to be high-risk, top cabinet officials wrote to President Donald Trump in the document seen by Reuters.

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This policy change follows the expiration of a previous refugee ban earlier Tuesday.

The administration reportedly made the memo available to members of Congress Tuesday afternoon. The directive stated that the administration “will conduct a detailed threat analysis and review” for citizens of 11 “high risk countries,” and in the meantime will “temporarily prioritize refugee applications” from other countries, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The administration is also temporarily pausing a program which allows refugees already in the US to apply for their relatives abroad to join them, until additional security measures for the program can be implemented, according to the memo, Reuters reported.

The memo was signed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Reuters reported.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (New York) called the new vetting process “unnecessary” and accused President Donald Trump of advancing “an unconstitutional Muslim Ban,” while vowing to fight the president’s “policies that run counter to our American values.”

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