Citizens of eight countries, including North Korea and Syria, will be barred from entering the U.S. because of the inadequate information-sharing and risk assessment protocols in those countries, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced.
The ban, which also applies to Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Chad and Venezuela, stems from these countries’ inability or unwillingness to help the U.S. implement its vetting protocols, Trump said in a presidential proclamation.
The new restrictions, slated to take effect Oct. 18, broaden the scope of Trump’s previous travel ban, which applied to six Muslim-majority countries, and expired Sunday.
The proclamation chided North Korea and Syria for failing to cooperate with the U.S. in identifying security risks.
Other countries, such as Yemen, Libya and Chad, were described as “important and valuable counterterrorism partners,” but stand accused of failing to live up to one or more U.S. criteria pertaining to vetting, information-sharing and identity management.
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Somalia was included on the list because, although it satisfies U.S. information-sharing requirements, its government is said to lack control over its territories, some of which are safe havens for terrorists.
The addition of Venezuela comes following several months of civil unrest in that country, and violent protests over the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. Trump previously threatened military action against Caracas.
The ban doesn’t apply to refugees who have already been admitted into the U.S., and will not result in the revoking of valid visas. The order also allows for special waivers for people who meet certain criteria, such as if they are protected under the UN Convention Against Torture, for example.
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Trump said that nearly 200 countries were evaluated in the course of the ban’s formulation.
“I am committed to our ongoing efforts to engage those countries willing to cooperate, improve information-sharing and identity-management protocols and procedures, and address both terrorism-related and public-safety risks,” he said in the proclamation.
“Some of the countries with remaining inadequacies face significant challenges. Others have made strides to improve their protocols and procedures, and I commend them for these efforts. But until they satisfactorily address the identified inadequacies, I have determined… to impose certain conditional restrictions and limitations.”
Unlike Trump’s first travel ban, which sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges, officials said they have been working for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments.
— With a file from the Associated Press