U.S. shuts down Syrian refugee program, denies entry to more than 5,000

By KAREN J. BARKERAssociated PressPublished May 07, 2019 08:53:21The United States has announced it will temporarily suspend the entry of Syrian refugees into the country as President Donald Trump continues to assert his executive authority over the process.

In a statement Thursday, the White House said it would “take appropriate actions to ensure that any Syrians currently in our country are returned to their country of origin, and to provide a fair process for their return.”

The Trump administration has been trying to push through a sweeping overhaul of immigration laws that critics say will help boost the U.N.-designated refugee intake to more of about 50,000.

The president has pledged to make Syria his first priority as he seeks re-election in 2020.

Trump has long accused the United Nations of being “unfair” to Syrian refugees, and he has made no secret of his plans to ramp up the flow of Syrian people into the United States.

His decision to suspend entry of Syrians was announced hours after the U,N.

said it was halting its efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in other countries.

The Syrian refugee crisis has caused turmoil in Europe and has been exacerbated by the civil war in Syria.

Some refugees have returned to Syria from Turkey and other countries, while others have stayed in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and other European countries.

A U.K.-based aid group, the International Rescue Committee, said Thursday that it would suspend its work in Syria for a week in protest against Trump’s decision.

The U.A.E., which is a member of the U/S Convention on the Rights of the Child, will also stop its humanitarian support to Syrian refugee children.

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