President Trump‘s controversial travel ban has just gotten even bigger. Starting October 18, the majority of travellers attempting to visit the US from Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, North Korea and Chad — and government officials from Venezuela — will be denied entry.
The previous ban — which included people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan — went into effect over the summer and expired on September 24. Unfortunately, Trump has now followed up with even more restrictions in an updated travel ban.
The White House released a statement on Sunday night, saying the new ban is a “critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans’ safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime.” In the same statement, Trump said that “We cannot afford to continue the failed policies of the past, which present an unacceptable danger to our country. My highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and in issuing this new travel order, I am fulfilling that sacred obligation.”
The new announcement revealed that Sudan has been dropped from the list of banned countries, and that Iraqi citizens will continue to be subjected to additional security measures, but will not be banned.
As for the new countries included in the ban, only government officials and their families from Venezuela will be subjected to the travel ban. And a larger ban across all other immigrants and travellers from the other listed countries will come into effect next month.
Here’s how today’s new ban will affect those living in the eight countries listed by the Trump administration.
Somalia: Total ban on permanent migration and additional scrutiny for visitor visas.
Iran: Only those on student exchange visas will be allowed into the US after additional scrutiny.
Chad, Yemen and Libya: Total ban on permanent migration, business and tourism visas.
North Korea and Syria: Total ban on permanent migration.
Venezuela: Ban on government officials and their families.
People in the affected countries with a ‘bona fide’ exception, such as a foreign immediate family member of a US citizen, can apply for a visa until the October 18 deadline. For those who currently hold government-issued green cards, visas or travel documents, they will not be revoked even after the ban becomes active on October 18.
The addition of two non-Muslim-majority countries to Trump’s travel ban may have been in response to the supreme court ruling that Trump’s original ban illegally targeted Muslims. By including non-Muslim-majority countries, Trump may be attempting to prove that his travel ban isn’t attacking one specific group of people.
Naureen Shah, senior campaigns director for Amnesty International USA, explained why instituting a new ban will not take away from the seriousness of Trump’s initial proposition: “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,” said Shah. “This ban must not stand in any form.”
Unlike Trump’s previous ban, which had a set term of 90 days, the term of new travel restrictions is indefinite. Sigh.