President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders starting on Wednesday that include a temporary bans on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of seven Muslim countries.
Reuters reports that Trump 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.
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.
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.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations immediately condemned the move.
CAIR San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi said: “Such executive orders and laws will not improve our nation’s safety and security, rather it will reinforce fear, hate, and division within our country. Immigrants and refugees have become legislators, doctors, engineers, and businesspeople who positively contribute to what America is – targeting them is misguided and against our country’s core values.”