Trump could revive Muslim travel ban, reports say

White House preparing to extend immigrant travel restrictions impacting majority Muslim countries

Alex Woodward
New York
Saturday 11 January 2020 00:08
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Donald Trump's administration is preparing for an extension of a travel ban that has limited travel from several majority-Muslim countries.
Donald Trump's administration is preparing for an extension of a travel ban that has limited travel from several majority-Muslim countries.

Donald Trump is said to be considering reintroducing his much-maligned travel ban impacting several majority-Muslim countries, despite protests and protracted legal battles that argued the US cannot unilaterally prevent people from entering the country.

According to the Associated Press, the White House is mulling an extension of the ban that the administration established in January 2017, which the president ordered through a series of executive actions to severely restrict travel by citizens of several majority-Muslim nations into the US.

The latest iteration could include severely limit travel from seven additional countries, the AP reports.

Despite several legal challenges and restraining orders, the ban remains in place for citizens travelling from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

Five of the seven impacted countries are majority Muslim.

The news agency cites a redacted memo that has blacked out the names of potentially impacted countries in the administration’s latest proposal, though it cites one person familiar with the policy as saying that Mr Trump could revive an attempt to ban travel from countries that were previously removed from the list, including Chad, Sudan and Iraq.

A draft proclamation obtained by Buzzfeed says the latest round of countries were recommended by the department of homeland security after they “failed to satisfy the baseline criteria, as informed by the outcomes of the new, enhanced methodology” for “identity management” and security protocol reviews of 200 countries.

The president’s order then says that people travelling from those areas are “detrimental to the interests of the United States and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations and exceptions”.

According to the documents, proposed restrictions would impact roughly 2.5 per cent “of all immigrant visas issued by the US Department of State”.

Legislation from a group of Democratic officials would prohibit religious discrimination as a deciding factor in travel restrictions and require the president to explicitly state why countries are targeted in the travel restrictions.

The administration’s latest proposal arrives amid an election year with a renewed focus on immigration, following Mr Trump’s hard-line anti-immigration efforts from “zero tolerance” border policing to an expansion of immigrant detention centres effectively jailing thousands of people throughout the US.

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