President Trump issued an executive order Sunday night expanding travel restrictions from his previous travel ban to include additional countries.
Sudan has been dropped from the original travel ban list, while Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia remain. North Korea, Chad and Venezuela have been added with varying levels of vetting and restrictions for each country. Citizens traveling from North Korea and Venezuela are not affected, only government officials. “Following an extensive review by the Department of Homeland Security, we are taking action today to protect the safety and security of the American people by establishing a minimum security baseline for entry into the United States,” Trump said. “We cannot afford to continue the failed policies of the past, which present an unacceptable danger to our country. My highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and in issuing this new travel order, I am fulfilling that sacred obligation.”
According to the White House, a new “baseline for information sharing to support visa and immigration vetting determinations” has been established, requiring that foreign governments bolster identity management, issue secure passports, identify serious criminals, provide information on known or suspected terrorists and more.
Countries were evaluated on the following:
1. Whether the country is a known or potential terrorist safe haven.
2. Whether the country is a participant in the Visa Waiver Program and whether it meets all of its requirements.
3. Whether the country regularly fails to receive its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.
Further, the White House argues the President’s job is to “ensure the safety and security of the American people” and therefore the new restrictions, recommended by Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, are necessary. “Today’s announcement by the President will protect Americans and allow DHS to better keep terrorists and criminals from entering our country,” Duke released in a statement. “The restrictions announced are tough and tailored, and they send a message to foreign governments that they must work with us to enhance security.”
“With this Proclamation, the President is carrying out his duty to protect the American people. The State Department will coordinate with other federal agencies to implement these measures in an orderly manner. We will continue to work closely with our allies and partners who share our commitment to national and global security,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added.