The White House announced an expansion of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to include 8 nations that did not meet new security standards developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Trump Administration shared these new requirements with foreign governments back in July, and those that did not meet them were given 50 days to make required changes. Inadequate identity-management protocols, information-sharing practices and/or other current risk factors were cited as grounds for travel restrictions.
As a result, the proclamation also placed certain travel limitations and restrictions on travelers from North Korea, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The White House said these limitations and restrictions are conditional and meant to be temporary. Restrictions on Venezuela only apply to certain 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,” President 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.”
The President also decided to exclude Iraq even though it did not meet the baseline after the Secretary of Homeland Security recommended nationals traveling to the U.S. be subject to additional scrutiny. Further, the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security determined that while Somalia generally satisfies the minimum information-sharing requirements, it presents special circumstances that warrant specific restrictions and security enhancements to protect the American people.
“We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives,” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement.
The “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” which bars the issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim nations identified as hotbeds of terrorism by the Obama Administration, was due to expire on Sunday.
After a series of legal challenges in judge-shopped courts known for their leftwing activism, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) twice sided with the Trump Administration and permitted it to go forward until oral arguments were heard on October 10, 2017. On June 26, the Court unanimously and largely reinstated the travel ban until oral arguments were heard, though they left it open to limitation.
But on September 12, the Court granted the Trump Administration’s request to block a lower court ruling allowing them to more strictly enforce the order.
“If you can’t screen people effectively to know who’s coming into your country, then you shouldn’t allow people from that country to travel,” National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster added.
The initial executive order came on the heels of the DHS revealing nearly a third of the 1,000 domestic terrorism cases currently being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) involve those admitted to the U.S. as refugees.
Officials said some of those 300 came to “infiltrate” the U.S., while others were radicalized once they were in the country. The report represented the first official solid tie between the refugee resettlement program and an increase in domestic terrorism.
“It is the President’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
The People’s Pundit Daily (PPD Poll) Big Data Poll has repeatedly found majority support for President Trump’s executive order.