WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump on Sunday announced new travel restrictions for visitors to the United States, extending the travel ban to eight countries.
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The ban, which will come into effect on October 18, 2017, has now also been imposed on North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, while Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were already on the list.
Meanwhile, Sudan has been removed from the list of banned countries, while Iraqi citizens will face “additional scrutiny” instead of a total ban.
Under the new presidential proclamation, seven of the countries will face a ban that will cover most of the citizens, while the restrictions have been imposed on a group of Venezuela’s officials and their families.
“As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump’s statement said.
The president later tweeted: “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.https://t.co/KJ886okyfC
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
In the third move of its kind, the president has not announced a time limit for the restrictions as was announced for the previous travel bans.
Trump announced the first ban in January targeting refugees and seven Muslim countries. The ban was later suspended by the federal courts citing that this was against religious freedom.
In March, Trump had issued the second order imposing the ban on six Muslim-majority countries. Some parts of the ban were allowed by the Supreme Court through a ruling.
An administration official of the US said that the number of travelers from the North Korea to the America was already low.
Rights group Amnesty International USA slammed the new steps as saying, “Just because the original ban was especially outrageous does not mean we should stand for yet another version of government-sanctioned discrimination”.
”It is senseless and cruel to ban whole nationalities of people who are often fleeing the very same violence that the US government wishes to keep out. This must not be normalized.”
It is notable that the new order has been passed at the time when the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on October 10 regarding the legal basis of Trump’s previous travel ban.