On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order in which he vowed to increase the stringency of refugee vetting in order to keep radical Islamic terrorists" from entering the U.S., in a move that Democrats and human rights groups have called unconstitutional and discriminatory.
"I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," Trump said at the Pentagon while signing the documents, according to The Hill. "We don't want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who support our country and love deeply our people."
The document calls admitting Syrian refugees into the nation "detrimental" to American well-being and prevents any refugees from the nation from entering the U.S. until Trump decides to lift the ban and determines "that sufficient changes have been made to the [U.S. Refugee Admissions Program] to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest."
Trump has said that the majority of Syrian refugees who enter the U.S. are young, single men who fit similar profiles as terrorists, although the State Department said in 2015 that more than three out of four refugees entering the U.S. from Syria are women and children, notes USA Today.
The executive order also stops all refugee admissions for 120 days, as government officials decide how much risk each nation poses, reports The Hill. Only 50,000 total refugees will be admitted during the 2017 fiscal year, less than half of the 110,000 that former President Barack Obama proposed for that time frame.
Trump also said that he would prioritize Middle Eastern Christians facing religious persecution above Muslims. In 2016, the U.S. took in approximately equal amounts of people from both religions.
"If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians," Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Jan. 27, according to The Hill. "And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them."