Immigration has been a long standing point of contention since President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office this past January. Trump’s controversial “Muslim Ban“—a travel ban primarily targeting immigrants from seven specified Muslim-majority nations—was signed Trump’s first week in office and greeted with immense controversy. Now, the administration has released details of a newly revised travel ban that will go into affect this October.
On Sunday, the White House released details of a newly drafted travel ban that will place restrictions on travelers entering the United States from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. In an official statement, the White House called the ban a “critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans’ safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime.”
According to CNN, the new travel restrictions vary by country and include details of a “phased-in” approach, set to begin October 18. For North Korea and Syria, US entry for immigrants and non-immigrants will be suspended, while the same restrictions apply to Chad, Yemen, and Libya with the exception of being extended to case-by-case tourist and business visa holders.
For Somalia, US entry for immigrants is suspended while non-immigrants will face stricter security screening upon arrival. For Iran, entry is restricted for immigrants and non-immigrants with the exception of student visa holders; meanwhile, Venezuela also faces restrictions for unspecified government officials and their family members.
While the initial draft of Trump’s travel ban blatantly targeted Muslims, the third revision of the ban notably includes countries that are not Muslim-majority nations, such as Venezuela and North Korea. The inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela is due to their inherent “lack of cooperation,” explained the White House in a statement. The ban on North Korea is unsurprising due to rising tensions between the United States and North Korea; on the other hand, the ban on Venezuela is unique as it primarily targets government officials.
“The new order argues that while it’s possible to obtain information on Venezuelan citizens through means outside its government, Venezuelan officials themselves have been uncooperative. Therefore, only the government has been banned,” reports Fortune.
For the better half of the year, Trump has been focusing his efforts on successfully passing a travel ban that he deems necessary to protect the country. His initial “Muslim Ban” was blocked by federal courts and escalated to the level of the Supreme Court.
Following the revised restrictions, “The Supreme Court has taken two cases involving President Trump’s controversial travel ban off its calendar, after the White House issued a revised and expanded ban,” writes NPR. “The justices ordered both sides to file new briefs over whether parts of the issue are now moot.” Opposition of the third revision of Trump’s travel ban argues it is still a thinly veiled attempt to fulfill the President’s anti-Muslim rhetoric he spewed along the campaign trail.
Meanwhile, Trump’s base continues to push for the implementation of the travel ban. “We cannot afford to continue the failed policies of the past, which present an unacceptable danger to our country,” Trump said in a recent White House statement. “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.”