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Trump Admin. announces new, permanent travel ban for 8 countries

The Trump administration announced a permanent replacement for its controversial travel ban on Sunday, and this one restricts entry from eight countries: Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. Sudan, which was included in both previous versions of the ban, was excluded from the new ban.

Unlike the previous ban, this one tailors restrictions to each country. They are based on whether the country was able to meet a baseline that would allow the U.S. to effectively vet the proposed traveler. That baseline, according to the Atlantic, is the country's ability to verify travelers' identities, access their criminal histories and perform risk assessments.

In addition to the eight nations chosen for the ban, Iraq did not meet this baseline but was excluded from the ban based on close relations between the U.S. and the Iraqi government, along with a large American presence there.

"Making America safe is my number one priority," President Trump tweeted after the announcement. "We will not admit those into the country we cannot safely vet."

The new restrictions are apparently the result of joint work between the White House, the State Department, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Some are borrowed from existing programs, while others are said to be aimed at preventing terrorist threats from nations who lack the ability or will to screen travelers. The new ban goes into place just as the previous ban was to expire.

Some information about the order is available, but some details remain to be clarified:

  • People coming from Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Chad will be ineligible for immigrant visas and some nonimmigrant visas.
  • The order suspends both business and tourist visas for certain Venezuelan security personnel and their families.
  • Virtually all Syrians and North Koreans will be barred entry to the U.S. unless they meet certain exceptions, such as holding a diplomatic visa or being granted asylum.
  • However, consular officials are authorized to waive the restrictions for Canadian permanent residents, children, adoptees, people seeking medical care, and workers or students who have significant ties to the U.S. but happened to be out of the country when the order was enacted.

The ban does not apply to:

  • Anyone currently in the United States lawfully
  • Refugees already admitted to the U.S.
  • Lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
  • Dual-nationality citizens

An indefinite ban on Syrian refugees was lifted, but new refugee admissions have been suspended for 120 days.

It is unclear what effect the announcement will have on the upcoming Supreme Court hearing about the legality of the previous version of the ban. However, the new ban remains controversial with critics.

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