President Donald Trump is preparing to widen his travel ban to include a broader range of countries — and to expand the penalties for countries that do not update their airline security measures.
The current ban curbs the award of visas to the many citizens of countries that do not implement updated security measures. The improved measures are intended to help U.S. officials identify a few potentially dangerous individuals who try to fly into the United States.
“The list of countries is not yet final and could be changed,” according to Politico. “But nations under consideration for new restrictions include Belarus, Myanmar (also known as Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, according to two people familiar with the matter.”
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal:
The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the U.S., but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.
Some countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery program, which awards [each year 50,000] green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the U.S. President Trump has called for an end to that program, saying it lets undesirable people into the U.S., and he has proposed reorienting the existing visa system toward skilled workers instead.
Trump’s deputies will likely argue the countries do not track likely terrorists and may do little to prevent illegal migration and visa overstays. For example, the Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 “Entry/Exit Overstay Report” revealed some 30,000 Nigerians — 15 percent of the 196,000 Nigerian visitors in 2018 — stayed past their visa’s expiration.
The new regulations will likely be released on Monday.
The countries covered by the first round of curbs are mostly chaotic Muslim countries — Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya — plus North Korea.
The reform was approved by the Supreme Court in June 2018 amid furious resistance from pro-migration groups and establishment outlets, many of whom portrayed the policy as a “Muslim ban.”
The new list includes three mostly-Muslim countries — Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, and Eritrea. Nigeria has a huge population of roughly 100 million Muslims, while Myanmar has a small Muslim population, but both countries are trying to suppress Muslim armed groups.
Belarus is an isolated country between Poland and Russia, and it was part of the USSR.
>56 percent of Americans: End the Diversity Visa Lottery ASAP https://t.co/fvsoHl30kN
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) November 2, 2017