The Trump Administration Has Been Preparing To Expand The Travel Ban, Documents Reveal

The Trump administration has been preparing to expand its travel ban — which bars individuals from seven countries from entering the US — to restrict certain immigrants from several more nations around the world, according to internal government documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

It is unclear whether the administration will issue the restrictions. But the draft documents suggest it has been actively preparing to do so by creating materials to engage with the media, alongside a draft presidential proclamation.

The draft materials obtained by BuzzFeed News do not contain the names of the countries being considered, but the proclamation includes seven slots that contain descriptors for each nation and varied restrictions. The move would represent just the latest in a series of unprecedented efforts by the Trump administration to tighten immigration — and could pointedly come in a reelection year.

While the countries are not listed, the descriptions included do list some indicators. Several countries are listed as not providing the US with “identity information” and presenting a “risk” of “terrorist travel.” One country is an “important strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism” but nevertheless is failing in “identity management” issues. Another country does not “work with the United States on border and immigration security issues.”

CNN first reported in October that the administration was considering restricting travel from certain countries. The Associated Press reported Friday that the administration was also considering a new travel ban.

The draft presidential proclamation details how, after a review conducted by the Trump administration of the “identity management” and security protocols for 200 countries, the Department of Homeland Security recommended Trump place travel restrictions on countries in addition to the seven already banned, which include Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, North Korea, Yemen, and Somalia.

“In addition to maintaining the current restrictions, the Secretary recommended restrictions on additional countries that failed to satisfy the baseline criteria, as informed by the outcomes of the new, enhanced methodology,” the draft proclamation reads. “Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act…hereby find that, absent measures set forth in this proclamation, the immigrant entry in the United States of persons described in Section 1 of this proclamation would be detrimental to the interests of the United States and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations and exceptions.”

Five of the countries listed in the proclamation would have more expansive blocks, according to the draft. The draft materials state that the restrictions would impact “approximately 2.5% of all immigrant visas issued by the U.S. Department of State.”

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Hamed Aleaziz