Trump replaces 90-day travel ban

President Trump tweeted, ‘Making America Safe is my number one priority’

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation imposing strict new restrictions on travellers from a handful of countries, including five that were covered by his expiring travel ban. Administration officials say the new measures are required to keep the nation safe.

The indefinite restrictions apply to citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. As part of the presidential proclamation signed Sunday, the U.S. will also bar the entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families.

The changes will take effect October 18.

The announcement came the same day that Trump’s temporary ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries was set to expire, 90 days after it went into effect. That ban had barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who lacked a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” from entering the U.S. Only one of those countries, Sudan, will no longer be subject to travel restrictions.

“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” Trump tweeted late Sunday after the new policy was announced.

Unlike the first iteration of Trump’s travel ban, which sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges after being hastily written with little input outside the White House, officials stressed they had been working for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments.

Related: Appeals court to weigh challenge to revised Trump travel ban

To limit confusion, valid visas would not be revoked as a result of the proclamation. The order also permits, but does not guarantee, case-by-case waivers for citizens of the affected countries.

The restrictions are targeted at countries that the Department of Homeland Security says fail to share sufficient information with the U.S. or haven’t taken necessary security precautions.

DHS has spent recent months working to develop a new security baseline, which includes factors such as whether countries issue electronic passports with biometric information, report lost or stolen passports to INTERPOL, an international law enforcement body, and share information about travellers’ terror-related and criminal histories.

Citizens of countries that don’t meet the standard will face restrictions until they make changes to bring them into compliance.

The new rules include the suspension of all immigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, and the suspension of non-immigrant visas, such as for business and tourism, to nationals of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen.

Citizens of Iran will not be eligible for tourism and business visas, but remain eligible for student and cultural exchange visas if they undergo additional scrutiny. Such additional scrutiny will also be required for Somali citizens applying for all non-immigrant visas.

Related: Are Trump policies fuelling racism in Canada?

Critics have accused Trump of overstepping his legal authority and violating the U.S. Constitution’s protections against religious bias each time he has ordered new travel restrictions.

And the inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea appeared to be an attempt to block challenges from advocacy groups and others who have called the restrictions a ban on Muslims. Trump during his campaign called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The U.S. had already imposed wide-ranging sanctions on certain high-ranking Venezuelan government officials to protest the government’s attempts to consolidate power.

“The fact that Trump has added North Korea — with few visitors to the U.S. — and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been challenging the ban in court. “President Trump’s original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list.”

But administration officials argue the measure is necessary to keep Americans safe.

__

Associated Press writer Mark Sherman contributed to this report.

Jill Colvin And Matthew Lee, The Associated Press

Just Posted

MLA Adam Olsen still mulling over bid for provincial Green leadership

Olsen says he will discuss the opportunity with his family over Christmas holidays

House fire in View Royal sends one to hospital Saturday morning

View Royal Fire Rescue says fire is now out

Sidney Concert Band strikes up seasonal note with fundraiser for young musicians

Money raised from the Dec. 9 show benefits 676 Kittyhawk Air Cadet Band program

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Most Read