About three years back, President Donald Trump came up with the controversial travel ban, targeting several majority-Muslim nations. Now, Trump is reportedly planning to extend the travel ban further to include a few more countries. Though the countries on the new list are yet to be announced, there are a few likely contenders. Thus, if you are planning to travel in the next few weeks or months, you might want to know which countries might land on Trump’s travel ban list.
Is Trump planning to extend travel ban?
Trump, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, confirmed his plans to add more countries to the list of the travel ban. However, the President did not reveal the names of the countries that would be added to the list. A travel ban is usually placed to force targeted countries to comply with U.S. demands, including sharing information with U.S. agencies.
Hogan Gidley, White House spokesman, did not talk about the new travel plan, but defended the original ban. “The travel ban has been profoundly successful in protecting our country and raising the security baseline around the world,” he said in a statement.
However, a report from CNN, citing sources familiar with the process, noted that the Trump administration has already drafted plans to renew and expand Trump’s travel ban list, which will include immigration restrictions on seven more countries.
It is being reported that unlike the current travel ban, the new ban would only limit certain immigrant visas from the newly added countries. This means that the new ban would not be a total ban, but rather a partial immigration ban. Moreover, the restrictions could apply mostly to certain government officials.
Last week, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, admitted that the U.S. is working on developing guidelines regarding the foreign countries to help in vetting foreign nationals who want to enter the U.S.
“For a small number of countries that lack either the will or the capability to adhere to these criteria, travel restrictions may become necessary to mitigate threats,” Wolf said in a statement.
Trump’s current travel ban list
It is believed that Trump could announce the expansion of the travel ban on this coming Monday, the third anniversary of Trump’s first, controversial travel ban. The initial travel ban sparked a massive uproar and protests across the nation. Many even termed it as a “Muslim ban.”
Trump first came out with the travel ban on Jan. 27, 2017, just days after he took office. The order signed by Trump suspended refugee resettlement and also blocked citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. This ban would end this month unless Trump renews it.
The following are the countries on Trump’s original travel ban list:
- North Korea
Chad was also on Trump’s travel ban list, but it was later removed after it improved security measures. Initially, the ban denied visas to the citizens of these countries. Later, the order was modified after it was challenged in the courts. The current version of the ban imposes a varying degree of restrictions on the above countries.
Likely countries for Trump’s travel ban list
Talking of the countries that the Trump administration is reportedly considering adding to the travel ban, the list includes names that have been friendly with the U.S. and also those that have opposed it. The following are the countries that may land on Trump’s travel ban list:
- Myanmar (also known as Burma)
Nigeria has been a longtime U.S. counter-terrorism partner, and there is a significant Nigerian population that lives in the U.S. However, as per The New York Times, Trump has said in the past that if Nigerians come to the U.S., they will never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
Similarly, Myanmar’s name could also surprise many. For about a decade, the U.S. has been working to improve ties with the nation. Belarus is another country that the U.S. wants to improve relations with. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was even scheduled to visit the country a few weeks back, but had to cancel the visit due to the rising tensions with Iran. Talking of Sudan, it has had a poor relationship with the U.S. for some time now. However, the country has been trying to improve terms with the U.S. after the longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted.