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Nearly 900 refugees to enter US despite ban by President Trump

Nearly 900 refugees will be allowed into the US this week despite President Donald Trumps order suspending the refugees programme.

Kevin McAleenan, acting Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection agency, said at a press conference on Tuesday that 872 refugees would be granted waivers, which he said was allowed for under the order in instances where refugees were ready for travel and stopping them would cause “undue hardship”.

Trump’s executive order, which aims to stop terrorist attacks on the US, stoked international outrage and expressions of dissent within the US government.

Thousands of protesters descended on international airports around the country, and teams of volunteer lawyers assisted travellers that were being detained.

McAleenan said it was fair to say that communication among government agencies on the order had “not been the best”.

But he said the refugees waivers were being done in harmony with the State Department. He said those 872 refugees will be arriving this week and will be processed for waivers through the end of the week.

In addition to the refugees, the agency processed waivers for 1,060 lawful permanent residents and 75 visa-holders, McAleenan added.

At the briefing, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly denied reports that he had been out of the loop in the White House planning for the immigration restrictions.

Kelly said he looked at two drafts of the order before the Friday signing and that high-level government lawyers and agency officials were involved in drafting it.

He also said he knew it was coming because Trump had long talked about it as a presidential candidate.

Trump’s order pauses America’s entire refugee programme for four months, indefinitely bans all those from war-ravaged Syria and temporarily freezes immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.–IANS

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