Trump Confirms Plan To Add Countries To Travel Ban

Carol Kuruvilla

President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that his administration is working on adding countries to his controversial travel ban.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he is seeking to expand the ban, but refused to reveal which countries would be targeted.

The statement corroborates several recentreports about a potential update to the ban, which currently suspends immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for applicants from five majority-Muslim nations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — as well as Venezuela and North Korea. 

The expanded list potentially may include U.S. allies that have failed to comply with certain security measures, The Associated Press reports.

The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.

President Donald Trump at a meeting at the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday. 

The original ban, issued without warning through an executive order on Jan. 27, 2017, suspended travel from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, blocked refugee admissions for 120 days and suspended travel from Syria. It sparked massive protests at airports across the country and resulted in months of contentious litigation from civil rights groups.

The ban has been updated several times, and the Supreme Court decided in June 2018 to uphold a watered-down, third iteration of it. The majority of justices agreed there was a “sufficient national security justification” for the order.

In practice, the travel ban has prevented people from seeking needed medical treatment in the U.S. and separated thousands of families. Waivers to the travel ban are notoriously hard to obtain, civil rights groups say. The State Department rejected over 37,000 visa applications because of the travel ban in 2018.

Some civil rights groups and Democratic politicians have been calling for a federal No Ban Act to be passed, which would repeal Trump’s travel ban, require specific reasons for any immigration restrictions and prohibit religious discrimination. 

Trump is expected to rally his base during...

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