The new presidential proclamation has several changes and sets restrictions on citizens from eight countries (up from the original six). It’s set to take effect Oct. 18, eight days after the court is due to hear oral arguments on the legality of Trump’s earlier ban.
Here’s what you need to know about the new travel ban.
There is another major change. The earlier ban temporarily limited travel for 90 days, but the new restrictions are indefinite and “conditioned based, not timed based,” according to the White House.
Why the new countries?
The inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea appeared to be an attempt to block challenges from advocacy groups and others who have called the restrictions a ban on Muslims.
Sudan was removed from the list after senior administration officials said a review of the country’s co-operation with the U.S. government on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to be taken off.
The addition of Venezuela comes following several months of civil unrest in the country, and violent protests against the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. Trump previously threatened military action against Caracas.
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Chad faces a suspension of its nationals’ business and tourist visas for refusal to share terrorism-related information with the U.S. However, the addition of Chad has left some political analysts scratching their heads, as the country had a close partnership with the U.S.
And in terms of North Korea, the proclamation cited its addition for failing to co-operate with the U.S. in identifying security risks.
The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement the addition of North Korea and Venezuela “doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban.”
A White House official acknowledged the number of North Koreans now travelling to the U.S. was very low. North Korea’s authoritarian government doesn’t allow most of its 24 million people to travel abroad. North Korea also has tens of thousands of workers abroad, but none are believed to be in the U.S.
“Six of President Trump’s targeted countries are Muslim. The fact that Trump has added North Korea — with few visitors to the U.S. — and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban,” ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero said.
“President Trump’s original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list.”
What does it mean for citizens from the countries?
Not all the countries will face an outright ban. Each nation is under its own set of travel restrictions.
- The restrictions on Venezuelans largely affect government officials and their relatives.
- Iran will still be able to send its citizens on student exchanges.
- Somalis are barred from entering the U.S. as immigrants and are subjected to greater screening for visits.
- Iraqi citizens will not be subject to travel prohibitions but will face enhanced scrutiny or vetting.
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, for example, if they are protected under the UN Convention Against Torture.
People whose visas expire will be subject to the travel ban, officials said.
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How are the countries reacting?
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the Trump administration’s decision to include Venezuelan officials on a travel ban is a form of “political and psychological terrorism.”
His foreign ministry issued a statement Monday saying that the travel restrictions violate the values of the United Nations charter and international law and are part of a continuing effort by the U.S. to oust Maduro from power.
Iran’s foreign minister has criticized Trump for his administration’s new travel ban. Mohammed Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter early Monday: “Trump’s fake empathy for Iranians rings ever more hollow, with his new and even more offensive travel ban against such outstanding citizens.”
Chad’s government says it learned “with astonishment” of the decision that its country is on a list whose nationals will be prohibited from entering the U.S. A government statement expresses Chad’s incomprehension about the “official reasons for this decision; which contrasts with Chad’s constant efforts and commitments in the fight against terrorism at regional and global levels.”
Timeline of ban
Jan. 27: Trump’s original travel ban was put through on Jan. 27 and prevented all travel from citizens of seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It sparked protests across the U.S. and in Canada and resulted in chaos at airports as immigrants and refugees were blocked or removed from flights.
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March 6: Trump introduced a revised travel ban and his first executive order which was promptly thrown out by the courts. The revision included a 90-day restriction for passport-holding citizens of those six predominantly Muslim countries. Iraq was removed from the list after it was met with resistance due to the country’s involvement in the fight against ISIS.
March 8: Despite the change, the state of Hawaii moved to block the new executive order in court.
March 16: A federal judge in Maryland also temporarily halted the executive order.
June 26: The Supreme Court allowed a limited version of Trump’s travel ban. Tump hailed the decision as a “victory for national security,”
Sept 24: Trump announced the third revision to his administration’s travel ban.
Oct. 10: The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the two cases challenging the travel ban. But the new proclamation could lead the high court to skip deciding the case altogether, legal experts say. The new ban is a result of a months-long analysis of foreign vetting procedures by U.S. officials. It also might be less easily tied to Trump’s campaign-trail statements some courts viewed as biased against Muslims.
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— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters