WASHINGTON D.C: President Trump is considering extending the US travel ban to another seven countries, most of which have mainly Muslim populations.
A document outlining the plans, timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Trump’s January 2017 executive order — has been circulating the White House. But the countries that would be affected if it moves forward are blacked out, according to two of the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the measure has yet to be finalized.
It’s unclear exactly how many countries would be included in the expansion if it proceeds, but two of the people said that seven countries, a majority of them Muslim would be added to the list. The most recent iteration of the ban includes restrictions on five majority-Muslim nations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea.
A different person said the expansion could include several countries that were covered in the first iteration of Trump’s ban but later removed amid rounds of contentious litigation. Iraq, Sudan, and Chad, for instance, had originally been affected by the order, which the Supreme Court upheld in a 5-4 vote after the administration released a watered-down version intended to withstand legal scrutiny.
Trump, who had floated a banning all Muslims from entering the country during his 2016 campaign, criticized his Justice Department for the changes, tweeting that DOJ “should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered-down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”
The countries on the proposed expansion list include allies that fall short on certain security measures. The additional restrictions were proposed by the Department of Homeland Security officials following a review of security protocols and “identity management” for about 200 countries, according to the person.