WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump announced on Sunday new travel restrictions for eight countries, replacing the previous ban on six Muslim-majority countries.
The countries affected by the new measure are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, Trump said in an official statement.
The new measures, which will take effect on Oct. 18, are aimed at “enhancing vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry into the United States by terrorists or other public-safety threats.”
The first travel ban, which was issued in March and came into effect in late June, prohibited the entry of all refugees for 120 days and imposed a 90-day ban on the entry of citizens from six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Libya.
The new restrictions are based on a worldwide review of information that the affected countries share with the US, and are neither subject to religion nor race, senior government officials said in a press conference.
“These restrictions are vital to national security,” a senior official said.
Three countries – Chad, North Korea and Venezuela – have been added to the list, while restrictions on Sudan have been lifted due to improved cooperation with the US authorities, government representatives said.
According to Trump’s statement, Venezuela was included on the new list because “the government in Venezuela is uncooperative in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats.”
The US president explained that the Venezuelan government “fails to share public-safety and terrorism-related information adequately,” and “has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.”
Trump added that the restrictions, therefore, focus only on “government officials of Venezuela who are responsible for the identified inadequacies.”
The US president announced the first travel ban on Jan. 27, but had to issue a new version in March after being overturned in court.
The second version dropped Iraq from the list and prohibited the entry of Syrian refugees for 120 days, unlike the original one which had prohibited them indefinitely.US Bans Venezuela Regime Officials; Mandates Further Vetting for ALL Venezuelans