Joel Rose

The Trump administration has reopened the door to refugees seeking admission to the U.S. – but with broad new security procedures that raise fresh concerns for the groups that help them resettle here.

Most refugee admissions had been suspended for the last four months as the Trump administration came up with new security measures. Now the White House has issued an executive erder allowing the program to resume, with those measures in place.

The Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees the U.S. will accept next year at 45,000. That is a dramatic drop from the level set by the Obama administration and would be the lowest number in years.

The White House formally announced its plans in a report to congressional leaders Wednesday, as required by law.

The number of refugees the U.S. admits has fluctuated over time. But this cap is the lowest that any White House has sought since the president began setting the ceiling on refugee admissions in 1980.

Updated at 5:06 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey bears down on the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Border Patrol says it plans to keep its immigration checkpoints in Texas open in spite of the storm. That's prompting concern that immigrants living in the country illegally will ignore instructions to evacuate for fear that they'll be caught and deported.

President Trump returns Tuesday night to the same Phoenix convention center where he spoke during the campaign last year, laying out a 10-point plan to fight illegal immigration.

He's also visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Yuma, Ariz., a few miles from the Southwest border.

Now seven months into his presidency, Trump has pushed for dramatic changes to the nation's immigration system. But he's also been stymied by Congress and by the courts.

The deaths of 10 people who were discovered in a tractor-trailer parked at a Wal-Mart in San Antonio have focused new attention on the dangers of crossing the southern border.

"Putting aside what you think politically on immigration, it was a human tragedy," Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas told NPR's Morning Edition. "This is another example of desperate people who were seeking a better life trying to come here."

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