President Donald Trump has banned the entry of Syrian refugees into the US until further notice, as part of new measures to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.
He signed a wide-ranging executive order, which also saw all refugee admissions suspended for four months.
Entry of visitors from six mainly Muslim countries to the US has also been halted for three months.
Human rights groups and high profile figures have condemned the move.
Mr Trump signed the executive order at the Pentagon after a ceremony to swear in Gen James Mattis as defence secretary.
During the ceremony, he said: “I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”