At the World Economic Forum last week, President Trump announced his consideration to expand a travel ban implemented by executive order in 2017 to include additional countries.
According to sources close to the administration, a document outlining President Trump’s new expansion is expected to be announced this week near the three year anniversary of the original travel ban instituted in 2017.
While a draft is reportedly still being considered and the countries listed are not officially known, countries that could be affected include Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus with the possible addition of other countries as well.
As it currently stands, the travel ban effectively suspends immigrant and non-immigrant visas to individuals from designated countries with exceptions for students and individuals who possess “significant contacts” in the U.S.
It also establishes criteria for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess foreign security measures, including biometric data and the issuance of ePassports, for those traveling to the U.S.
Countries deemed not to possess adequate security precautions are likely to face travel restrictions.
The current order, however, is a modified version of Trump’s original proposal, which sought to entirely prohibit visas to individuals from a number of wartorn, majority Muslim countries.
After a series of legal challenges, the Trump administration’s original order was modified, leading to scaling-back of the initial proposal.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ultimately upheld a third version of the order, that restricted entry under certain conditions for individuals traveling from five majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen as well as Venezuela, and North Korea, while also removing certain countries originally listed, including Chad, Iraq, and Sudan.
Though this version was upheld, President Trump has criticized the Department of Justice (DOJ) for what he describes as the “politically correct version they submitted to the S.C.”
President Trump’s announcement comes as the Senate is currently deliberating two articles of impeachment against the president.
Though the expanded travel ban has yet to be officially announced, a draft of the new proposal has reportedly been circulating amongst the White House.
Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.