Trump outlines plans to expand travel ban to 7 more countries
US President Donald Trump has announced that he will add seven more countries to his US travel ban during an interview this week with the Wall Street Journal. Trump first introduced the controversial ban in 2017, which banned Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The federal court found that the immigration policy discriminated against Muslim travellers and a different policy that included Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, North Korea and Venezuela was introduced instead.
Which countries are set to be added to the travel ban?
Trump did not confirm which countries were to be added in the recent interview but it is thought that they are Belarus, Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. Trump said “We have to be safe. You see what’s going on in the world. Our country has to be safe.” when discussing the upcoming addition to the travel ban. Trump was speaking from Davos in Switzerland where he has been attending the World Economic Forum.
Following on from Trump’s interview, officials have clarified that the bans would not be a complete ban of travellers from these countries but would apply to travellers with particular visas including business and visitor visas.
Why are these countries set to get bans?
The seven countries that are expected to be added have higher rates of their citizens over-staying visas, so it is thought that this is the rationale behind the decision to add these countries to the travel ban policy. However, Nigeria for example, has a strong relationship with the US and is a counter-terrorism partner, so the addition of Nigeria wasn’t widely expected.
This is another demonstration of Trump’s determination to build stronger policies around immigration and travel to the US. He has also announced proposals to increase the fees for visas that are mostly impacting US businesses that employ foreign workers. Another area that Trump is tackling is the birth right of citizenship for babies born in the US, which he is hoping to end.
It is unlikely that these changes will be the last immigration changes that Trump pushes for, given his approach so far to the US immigration system. Many of his intentions have been highly controversial and particularly the ICE raids and the separation of children from their families have been heavily scrutinized.
Trump has drastically reduced refugee admissions, increased deportation and introduced many other changes that have made it harder for non US citizens to live in the US or even travel to the US. Foreign worker requests have been impacted by having stricter requirements and there are plans to prevent spouses of H-1B workers from being able to get employment in the US.
More information regarding the expanded travel ban should be available soon, as citizens of these countries will find out how it will impact their rights to travel to the US. Like many of Trump’s other controversial immigration changes, this change could end up in court.