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UNHCR, IOM decry US refugee ban
January 28, 2017, 5:14 pm

The executive order exempts Christians and Yazidis from the ban [Xinhua]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) issued a joint statement on Saturday decrying US President Donald Trump’s latest executive order to increase extreme vetting of immigrants and bar nationals froms even countries entry to the US for the next three months.

“We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race,” the U.N. Refugee Agency and the International Organization of Migration said Saturday in a joint statement.

The two organizations also reminded the US of its historic role in welcoming refugees worldwide and how that has created a “win-win” situation by saving the lives of tens of thousands of people from dangerous situations.

Late on Friday, Trump signed an executive order which prohibits the entry into the United States citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The prohibition period will last 90 days until relevant agencies revise their vetting process.

The executive order also suspended for 120 days entry of all refugees into the united States while screening procedures are enhanced.

Christians and Yazidis fleeing Muslim countries are excluded from the ban.

In the conclusion of their statement, the UNHCR and IOM said: We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the U.S. Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters.

According to reports in US media, a number of Iraqis with valid visas have already either been turned back at US points of entry, such as JFK Airport in New York City, or been detained.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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