‘Extreme Vetting’ For Refugees Can Start Once Tillerson Gets Confirmed

REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed.

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump’s administration will not update its policy regarding the vetting of refugees until Rex Tillerson is confirmed as secretary of state, the State Department said Tuesday.

Nearly 500 refugees were resettled in the U.S. Tuesday despite President Trump’s vow on the campaign trail to reform the refugee resettlement program and enact “extreme vetting.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about this policy proposal during a press briefing and said the administration will look into the “extreme vetting” policy once Tillerson gets confirmed as well as other officials in cabinet departments involved in refugee resettlement such as the Department of Homelands and Health and Human Services.

In a response to an inquiry about possible changes to the refugee resettlement program, a State Department official told TheDC, “White House Spokesperson Spicer addressed the President’s plans at the White House press briefing. We’d refer you to his comments today.”

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told TheDC that Tillerson’s vote will be on Monday, and is likely to be confirmed.

Potentially more than 1,000 refugees will be resettled in the first week of Trump’s administration before Tillerson’s confirmation.