US President Donald Trump has announced a new version of his heavily-criticised travel ban, adding North Korea, Venezuela, and Chad to the list of nations facing significant restrictions.
Those three countries now join Iran, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria as part of the measures.
For the past 90 days, the ban has excluded anyone from those nations from travelling to the US, unless a “bona fide” relationship with a US citizen or a legitimate offer of employment can be established. That period expired on Sunday, local time.
Some of the affected nations will face total travel bans, while some others – like Venezuela – will have their citizens face far more stringent checks. Anyone from those nations with a pre-existing visa will still be allowed to travel to the US.
The new measures are set to come into play on October 18, but a Supreme Court hearing on October 10 will deem if the move is actually legal.
Trump’s original travel ban, impacting the six majority-Muslim nations, was roundly slammed for being needlessly discriminatory, haphazard, and divisive.
Speaking to Politico, an unnamed White House official said “the restrictions, whether previously or now, were never ever, ever based on race, religion or creed.” Trump himself tweeted that the measures supposedly come down to those nations’ lacking vetting processes.
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
However, the new measures will still predominantly impact majority-Muslim nations; very few North Koreans travel to the US, and the restrictions on Venezuela are tailored to those directly linked to the nation’s government.