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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal

This fiscal year, only 48 Iraqis who helped American troops overseas have been granted refugee status — down from more than 3,000 last year and around 5,100 the year before, Reuters' Yeganeh Torbati reports.

Why it matters: This refugee program was specifically designed to encourage locals in Iraq to provide aide and intelligence to the U.S. military or media, and many have risked their lives to do so. Pentagon officials told Reuters they fear cutting the number of approved refugees would lead to a national security risk as locals would have less of an incentive.

Between the lines: The holdup seems to be from the FBI, which conducts special deep background checks on Iraqis who apply for the refugee program. Officials told Reuters that there had been a sharp increase in suspicious information found with these background checks that have led to the drop in Iraqi refugees. There are also new requirements in place for refugees from 10 countries, most of which are majority-Muslim.

The bigger picture: Overall refugee admissions have plunged under Trump. Per Reuters, his administration is "on track to admit about 22,000 refugees this year, approximately half of the maximum allowed" under his new, lower refugee ceiling.

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.