The Obama administration relaxed its rules this month for potential asylum seekers and refugees to the U.S. who may have terrorist links or who have given “limited material support” to groups classed as terrorist organizations, the RT Network reported.
The move is one of the first executive actions on immigration following President Obama’s promise to use more executive directives in his State of the Union address last month.
The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department published the new notice, dubbed the “Exercise of Authority Under Section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act” Wednesday in the Federal Register.
The notice reads: “Following consultations with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State have determined that the grounds of inadmissibility … bar certain aliens who do not pose a national security or public safety risk from admission to the United States and from obtaining immigration benefits or other status.”
The goal: if those seeking asylum gave unintentional support to the terrorist network, they can enter the United States.
The measures were introduced in the wake of 9/11 and affected everyone seeking to enter the US or extend a visa, if they were believed to have given such limited support and no exceptions were made, RT Network reported. Now, the Obama administration now wants to examine whether support could have been either limited or part of “routine commercial transactions or routine social transactions.”
According to 8 U.S.C. 1182, “material support” can include things like providing a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, false documentation or identification, weapons, explosives, or training, to any individual the actor knows or has reason to believe has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity.
As a refresher, the code also defines “terrorist activity” as:
“… any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following:
(I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).
(II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained.
(III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18) or upon the liberty of such a person.
(IV) An assassination.
(V) The use of any—
(a) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or
(b) explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.
(VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.”
The House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees did not immediately respond to TheBlaze for comment, but RT Newtork reported the Homeland Security Department said the rule change will not open the country to terrorists, as those seeking refugee status or a visa will still be subject to “thorough security checks.”
(H/T: RT Network).
Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.