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  4.  » White House said to be planning major expansion of travel ban

In 2017, the Trump administration began issuing executive orders to ban travel to the United States by citizens of certain countries. Originally, all of the countries were majority-Muslim nations.

This and comments made during the 2016 presidential campaign calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” led the travel ban to be called a “Muslim ban.”

After his initial two efforts were found unconstitutional by the courts, the administration managed to craft a third travel ban that was not aimed solely at Muslims.

This third travel ban applies to:

  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Yemen
  • North Korea
  • officials from Venezuela

There are some exceptions to the ban, but most people from these countries have little chance of traveling to the U.S. unless they can demonstrate existing strong ties to people or organizations in the country.

Now, according to the Associated Press, the Trump administration is considering adding more countries to those banned. The AP spoke to several people familiar with the proposal on condition of anonymity.

Two sources said that seven unnamed countries – the majority of which are Muslim – could be added to the ban.

Another source told the AP that the expansion would add back some countries that were removed during the original attempts to bring the ban in line with the Constitution. These might include, for example, Iraq, Chad and Sudan.

It appears from the reactions of the courts that any ban aimed primarily or solely at Muslims would be unconstitutional.

The third travel ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court approved on a 5-4 vote, was not aimed at the travelers’ religion but rather at countries that failed certain security and counter-terrorism standards desired by the U.S.

One source said that the new travel ban might be announced in time to mark the anniversary of the initial one.

At the same time, civil rights groups recently urged Congress to pass the No Ban Act, which would end the current travel ban and restrict President Trump’s authority to issue further travel bans.

We will keep an eye on developments in regard to this proposal.