Trump expected to order temporary ban on refugees

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UPDATE: 1:49 p.m.: New details have emerged on President Donald Trump's plans to issue an executive order restricting the admission of refugees to the United States and denying visas for individuals from countries determined to be high-risk.

The Huffington Post reportedly obtained a draft of the executive action, which among other measures blocks entry to the United States for refugees from war-torn Syria.

Huffington Post also reports the executive action will do the following:

  • Suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days while the administration determines which countries pose the least risk.
  • Temporarily suspending visa issuances to people in countries where the administration considers security screening inadequate ― meaning people from those countries couldn't enter the U.S. at all.
  • Capping total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000 ― less than half of the 110,000 proposed by the Obama administration.

Trump is visiting the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday and is expected to announce more details on his executive action on immigration, as well as measures toward building a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders starting on Wednesday that include a temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries, say congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter.

Trump, who tweeted that a "big day" was planned on national security on Wednesday, is expected to ban for several months the entry of refugees into the United States, except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place.

Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.

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2016 issues: U.S. rallies and protests on refugees, migrant crisis
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2016 issues: U.S. rallies and protests on refugees, migrant crisis
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A demonstrator holds a flag declaring 'Refugees Welcome.' A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A lone counter -protester, James MacDonald stands on the curb declaring the opposite of the rally's message - Mr. MacDonald objects the proposed U.S. asylum for 10,000 refugees on the basis of security concerns. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A protester holds a sign at the rally. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A trio of demonstrators hold signs in English and in Arabic at the rally. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A demonstrator holds a sign displaying the famed image of a Syrian refugee child found dead on the shore. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: Sculptures of bodies wrapped in burial cloths are placed at the center of the rally as a reminder of the deaths of Syrian refugees. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: Sarab Al-Jijakli, a Syrian-American New Yorker who helped to organize the rally, addresses the crowd. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A demonstrator holds a sign condemning the United Nations. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UNION SQUARE, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2015/09/12: A Syrian-American child stands in front of a banner at the rally. A collection of activists featuring members on MENA Solidarity Network staged a rally in Union Square to demand increased U.S. involvement in the Syrian refugee crisis, underscoring that the recent Obama administration proposal for the U.S. to grant refugee status to 10,000 Syrians is far from adequate. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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In his tweet late on Tuesday, Trump said: "Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!"

The border security measures probably include directing the construction of a border wall with Mexico and other actions to cut the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States.

The sources say the first of the orders will be signed on Wednesday. With Trump considering measures to tighten border security, he could turn his attention to the refugee issue later this week.

Stephen Legomsky, who was chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, said the president had the authority to limit refugee admissions and the issuance of visas to specific countries if the administration determined it was in the public's interest.

RELATED: Poll - Stance on building Mexican border wall

"From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights," said Legomsky, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. "But from a policy standpoint, it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees."

The Republican president, who took office last Friday, was expected to sign the first of the orders at the Department of Homeland Security, whose responsibilities include immigration and border security.

On the campaign trail, Trump initially proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he said would protect Americans from jihadist attacks.

Both Trump and his nominee for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, have since said they would focus the restrictions on countries whose migrants could pose a threat, rather than a ban on those of a specific religion.

Many Trump supporters decried former President Barack Obama's decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States over fears that those fleeing the country's civil war would carry out attacks.

LEGAL CHALLENGES POSSIBLE

Detractors could launch legal challenges if all the countries subject to the ban are Muslim-majority nations, said immigration expert Hiroshi Motomura at UCLA School of Law.

Legal arguments could claim the executive orders discriminate against a particular religion, which would be unconstitutional, he said.

"His comments during the campaign and a number of people on his team focused very much on religion as the target," Motomura said.

To block entry from the designated countries, Trump is likely to tell the State Department to stop issuing visas to people from those nations, according to sources familiar with the visa process. He could also instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop any current visa holders from those countries from entering the United States.

RELATED: Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border

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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
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Where the wall already exists along the US-Mexico border
A gap in the U.S.-Mexico border fence is seen outside Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
U.S. customs and border patrol officers inspect a vehicle entering the U.S. from Mexico at the border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Men talk on a street in the town of Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol officer stands at a border crossing in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Recent arrivals from Mexico wait to board a greyhound bus in San Ysidro, California, United States, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Highway 82 towards Douglas, Arizona is seen near Sonoita, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Clouds float above the border towns of Nogales, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A sign warning drivers that firearms and ammunition are prohibited in Mexico is seen at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Buildings in Nogales, Mexico (R) are separated by a border fence from Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A worker makes his way through the water after setting up an irrigation system on an agricultural field, near Calexico, California, U.S. October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An abandoned car sits off the side of a road near Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A church at the Museum of History in Granite is seen in Felicity, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man drives a tractor plowing a field at sunrise near Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Residential homes are seen next to the fence that borders Mexico, in Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians wait to cross the street in Calexico, California, Unites States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The town of Bisbee is seen in Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Pedestrians make their way into the the United States from Mexico at the pedestrian border in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A roadside collection of alien dolls and toy UFO saucers is seen next to a roadside residence neat Jacumba, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A road abruptly ends next to a sign for a cattle ranch near Douglas, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A boy rides an all-terrain vehicle next Mexican border along the Buttercup San Dunes in California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
An old refurbished gas station is seen in Lowell, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A man rides a tricycle past a grocery store in a town that borders Mexico, in San Luis Butter, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A U.S. customs and border patrol truck drives past the fence that marks the border between U.S. and Mexico, in Calexico, California, United States, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A truck drives west towards California along highway 8 near Gila Bend, Arizona, United States, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Electronic items are displayed in a shop window in Calexico, California, United States, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A residential home is seen in Nogales, Arizona, United States, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake 
A fence separates the border towns of Nogales, Mexico (R) and Nogales, Arizona, United Sates, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday the State and Homeland Security Departments would work on the vetting process once Trump's nominee to head the State Department, Rex Tillerson, is installed.

Other measures may include directing all agencies to finish work on a biometric identification system for non-citizens entering and exiting the United States and a crackdown on immigrants fraudulently receiving government benefits, according to the congressional aides and immigration experts.

To restrict illegal immigration, Trump has promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to deport illegal migrants living inside the United States.

Trump is also expected to take part in a ceremony installing his new secretary of homeland security, retired Marine General John Kelly, on Wednesday.

AUSTRALIA DEAL UNDER THREAT

Trump's executive order threatens a refugee resettlement deal with Australia signed late last year, and could leave more than 1,000 asylum seekers in limbo.

The U.S. agreed to resettle an unspecified number of refugees being held in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru on Australia's behalf, under a deal to be administered by the U.N. refugee agency.

"Any substantial delay in the relocation of refugees...would be highly concerning from a humanitarian perspective," Catherine Stubberfield, a spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told Reuters by email.

"These men, women and children can no longer afford to wait."

The deal followed agreement by Australia in September to join a U.S.-led program to resettle refugees from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as part of its annual intake.

See more related to this story:

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Donald Trump's first 100 days in office, a photo for each day
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U.S. President Donald Trump shows a letter from former President Barack Obama at a swearing-in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, DC January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up the executive order on withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters while signing an executive order to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks as U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, center, and John Kelly, secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, stand during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, D.C. U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Trump acted on two of the most fundamental -- and controversial -- elements of his presidential campaign, building a wall on the border with Mexico and greatly tightening restrictions on who can enter the U.S. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks briefly to reporters as he arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. President Donald Trump watches as Vice President Mike Pence (R) swears in Jeff Sessions (L) as U.S. Attorney General while his wife Mary Sessions holds the Bible in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen at the White House in Washington, DC, March 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after speaking at a schedule signing ceremony of executive orders on trade as Vice President Mike Pence (C) reacts at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
TOPSHOT - People wearing masks of US President Donald Trump take part in the 32nd Annual April Fools Day Parade in New York on April 1, 2017. The theme for this years parade is MAKE RUSSIA GREAT AGAIN! The Grand Marshall will be a Donald Trump look-alike. The full parade was actually a April Fools' prank. / AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
The motorcade of US President Donald Trump arrives at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia, April 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 03 : (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'PRESIDENCY OF EGYPT / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (R) at the White House in Washington, United States on April 3, 2017. (Photo by Presidency of Egypt / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a chart showing the complexity of regulations as he speaks at the 2017 North America?s Building Trades Unions National Legislative Conference in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump (2ndL) welcome Jordan?s King Abdullah (R) and Queen Rania at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria 
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping chat as they walk along the front patio of the Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US President Donald Trump looks out the window as he departs the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, April 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Marine One carrying U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to land on South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump claps for Neil Gorsuch after he took the judicial oath during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House April 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, center, speaks during a strategic and policy discussion with executives at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The Trump administration has been hobbled by botched policy roll-outs and an early failure on another signature promise -- health-care reform -- and it remains to be seen whether Trump's infrastructure pledges can translate to a permanent boost for business. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) addresses a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - APRIL 13: US President Donald Trump arrives on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport to spend Easter weekend at Mar-a-Lago resort on April 13, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. President Trump has made numerous trips to his Florida home and according to reports has cost over an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days in office. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump drive outside the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Protestors take part in the 'Tax March' to call on US President Donald Trump to release his tax records on April 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and his son Barron board Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. after Easter weekend, April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr., watch children roll Easter Eggs at 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order directing federal agencies to recommend changes to a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs during a visit to the world headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool manufacturer, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a New England Patriots jersey as Head Coach Bill Belichick (L) watches during an event honoring the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R) during a press conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American woman detained in Egypt for nearly three years on human trafficking charges, after she was flown back to the United States on Thursday, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump awards a Purple Heart to Army Sgt First Class Alvaro Barrientos at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Guests watch a video of U.S. President Donald Trump as he addresses the 15th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in New York City, U.S., April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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Australia's tough border security laws mandate that asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat go for processing to detention camps on PNG's Manus island and Nauru.

Australia does not provide information on the nationalities of those held, but around a third of the 1,161 detainees were from countries covered by the executive orders, lawyers and refugee workers for the asylum seekers told Reuters.

"We already didn't have much hope the U.S. would accept us," Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee who has spent more than three years on Manus island, told Reuters.

"If they do not take us, Australia will have to."

A spokeswoman for Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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