As The Daily Wire previewed weeks ago and as has also been rumored for much of this current week, the Trump administration on Friday imposed travel restrictions on six new countries.
“President Donald Trump is expected to reveal an expansion of his controversial travel ban on Friday, the same day he could be acquitted in his impeachment trial and just days ahead of the president’s annual State of the Union address,” Politico reported yesterday. “The expected announcement — confirmed by two people familiar with the matter — had initially been planned for this past Monday to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the original order, which restricted travel from several majority-Muslim nations.”
On Friday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal confirmed the news. The six new countries to have various types of travel restrictions imposed upon them are Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania.
“Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan won’t be allowed to apply for visas to immigrate to the U.S. under the policy, which the Trump administration said was designed to tighten security for countries that don’t comply with the U.S. minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration,” the Journal reports. “Two other countries, Sudan and Tanzania, will be barred from participating in the diversity visa lottery, which randomly awards green cards to 50,000 immigrants from underrepresented countries annually. Many of the recipients are from African countries.”
Specifically, Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan will have the issuance suspended of all visas that might lead to permanent residency, according to Reuters.
Overall, “[t]he six countries [added today] will join a list of seven nations, most of them Muslim-majority, that faced significant travel restrictions under President Trump’s original travel ban, issued in 2017,” the Journal continues. Those original seven nations were Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea.
That original travel ban was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the attention-grabbing 2018 case of Trump v. Hawaii.
“By its plain language, [8 U.S.C.] §1182(f) grants the president broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for a bare 5–4 Court majority. “The president lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings — following a worldwide, multi-agency review — that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest. And plaintiffs’ attempts to identify a conflict with other provisions in the [Immigration and Nationality Act], and their appeal to the statute’s purposes and legislative history, fail to overcome the clear statutory language.”
The addition of countries with Trump administration-imposed travel restrictions placed upon them surely has a political element, and can likely be viewed as an attempt by the president to help shore up his base in the lead-up to November’s election. But the primary rationale seems to be a more emotionally detached attempt to buttress homeland security.
“These countries for the most part want to be helpful, want to do the right thing,” said Chad Wolf, acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, according to the Journal. “But for a variety of reasons, they failed to meet those requirements we laid out.”