Sep 22, 2017

Trump admin to issue temporary new restrictions on travel

Trump listens during a luncheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the UN meeting. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke is set to issue new, temporary restrictions on travel for foreign nationals coming to the U.S., which are tailored on a country-by-country basis, Trump administration officials told reporters on a call Friday. The Supreme Court is reviewing the travel ban October 10.

Why it matters: Trump's travel ban's 90-day review period is set to expire on Sunday. This effectively replaces it, although the officials on the call would not detail which countries are facing restrictions under the new country-specific standards. The WSJ reports the new country-specific restrictions will bring the list of countries facing restrictions from six (in the original ban) to around eight.

The administration perspective, per Raj Shah, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary: "we need to know who is coming into our country, we should be able to validate their identities." The goal is to confirm incoming foreign nationals don't pose a threat by sharing information about terrorism and criminal histories between countries, as well as requiring, in some cases, secure e-passports with biometric information.

The tailored restrictions are based on threat analysis and deficiencies in identity vetting, including countries who would not come into compliance under enhanced U.S. screening procedures.

Every country in the world was notified in July they would have 50 days to fall in line with enhanced security measures, and if not, face heightened restrictions. Duke submitted her report to the White House based on an interagency review of travel standards for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. as it relates to the travel ban Trump signed off on in March, which was allowed to continue in a limited way starting in June. The report won't be made public.

Up next:

  • Administration officials wouldn't get into timing, but they said a proclamation will be issued.
  • Sarah Isgur Flores, Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice would not comment on how this will change the government argument about the ban, given that litigation is ongoing.

On the call: Dave Lapan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Media Operations at DHS; Miles Taylor, Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security; Raj Shah, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary; Sarah Isgur Flores Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice; Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, State Department; Michael Scardiville, Principal Director within DHS Policy.

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