President Donald Trump has confirmed that he plans to add “a couple” of countries to the existing travel ban he put in place during the early days of his presidency, Breitbart reported Tuesday.
Trump did not say definitively which countries are slated to be added to the ban, but the new list is expected to be released on Jan. 27, exactly three years after the original ban was instituted.
The current iteration of the travel ban includes the countries of Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, and North Korea. It was hotly contested by Democrats at the time of its creation and set the stage for a series of challenges in federal court.
The 2017 travel ban was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5–4 ruling in June of 2018, Politico reported.
Keeping America safe
According to NPR, sources suggest that Trump is likely considering Nigeria, Belarus, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania as countries to add to the ban.
“You see what’s going on in the world,” Trump said during a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to The Hill. “Our country has to be safe. So we have a very strong travel ban, and we’ll be adding a few countries to it.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley also spoke about the ban to reporters, saying:
While there are no new announcements at this time, common-sense and national security both dictate that if a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures — because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States.
Recent attacks by Iran on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and at the U.S. embassy and bases housing American servicemembers in Iraq suggest that Trump’s rules may be wise ones. Similar attacks could have been launched on U.S. soil if not for the travel ban against Iranians coming into the U.S.
Former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, said he was skeptical of the rationale for including the countries reportedly under consideration, but admitted that a common thread might be that all of them have airport security issues that could prevent known threats from being tracked as they leave their countries and make their way into the U.S.
The countries that fall under the current ban do not meet U.S. security standards, which include firmly established counterterrorism policies as well as biometrics standards for those who travel internationally.
For their part, the unwavering Democrat opposition to each and every version of the Trump administration’s travel ban has been one of the strongest indications of the party’s increasingly radical tilt.
The lengths to which the left has gone to counter Trump’s every move — even the ones designed to protect the safety of American citizens — continue to baffle both Republicans and right-leaning independents just as they have since the president’s inauguration in 2017.