President Trump has replaced the travel ban executive order that expires today with a new targeted list of restrictions that are permanent. There are mechanisms for enhanced vetting for nationals of eight countries.
The countries currently on the modified list are Chad, Iran, Syria, Venezuela Libya, North Korea, Somalia, and Yemen. US officials identified them as failing to comply with US information-sharing minimums aimed at shoring up the vetting process.
Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were identified and part of President Trump’s previous travel bans. Sudan has improved their security and according to White House officials, were thus able to be removed from the list. Four other nations were added, including Iraq, North Korea, Chad and Venezuela, bringing the total to nine, although Iraq not being identified as officially being part of the restricted list.
The restrictions apply to future visa applicants, with those currently holding valid visas being unaffected. The new restrictions will take effect immediately for those without a “bona fide” close relative in the U.S., and Oct. 18 for those who do. The restrictions take effect on Oct 18th for citizens of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.
Most travel will be suspended but for travelers wishing entry from nations other than the banned North Korea and Syria, there are some exceptions, once enhanced screening and vetting have taken place. Regular Venezuelan travelers who are not government officials will still be permitted visas but following additional screening measures.
Student visas from Iran may still be considered and Somalis may be granted tourist visas but will no longer be allowed to immigrate.
Though Iraq is not part of the list of targeted nations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains the position that Iraqi nationals should “be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States.”
Changes to the list can and will be made on a rolling basis with updates every 100 days, with the ability to either add or remove nations as deemed appropriate. An official announcement regarding refugee cap levels is expected within the week.
Government officials maintain that the restrictions are based upon an objective worldwide view, not national origin or religion and that those named on the list “have ‘inadequate’ identity-management protocols, information-sharing practices, and risk factors.”
In announcing the new restrictions, President Trump stated, “As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people.” He also tweeted, “We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
Only in a post-Obama politically correct cesspool would a President protecting his nation from terrorism require justification and potentially be targeted as discriminatory.
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