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Politicians approve bill making it harder for Syrian/Iraqi refugees to enter US

The House has rebuked President Barack Obama by ignoring his veto threat and approving a Republican bill erecting fresh barriers for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States.

Thursday's passage came on a 289-137 vote - exceeding the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto.

The roll call came after White House officials visited Congress and lobbied Democrats to oppose the legislation. Dozens of them ended up joining Republicans, anyway, and supporting the measure.

The curbs would in effect suspend the entry of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the US for months or years.

Republicans said tighter restrictions are needed following last week's Paris terrorist attacks. Mr Obama and most Democrats said the system was already safe and the US should not abandon its tradition of accepting refugees.

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