Venezuela slams USA travel restrictions as 'political terrorism'

Donald Trump

Trump on Sunday announced the restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding earlier travel bans that Trump says are necessary to fight terrorism but have been derided by critics and courts.

"I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people", he said in the document, issued late on Sunday", Trump wrote in the decree, later tweeting, "Making America Safe is my number one priority.

Challenges to the president's effort to impose a travel ban have called it a thinly veiled attempt to block Muslims from entering the country, something Trump and his advisers talked about during and after last year's presidential campaign.

The first iteration of Trump's travel ban sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges after being hastily written with little input outside the White House. "We will not admit those into our country we can not safely vet", Trump tweeted on Sunday.


Trump's new order directs travel restrictions to stay in place until the named countries work to meet certain baseline security requirements set by the Department of Homeland Security - metrics that could be unattainable for countries without the proper technological advancements. Unlike a prior ban, which was meant to be temporary, the new restrictions are set to continue indefinitely. However, the restrictions for Venezuela apply only to government officials and their immediate families.

Of the countries on the original restriction list, Sudan has provided sufficient assurances to avoid inclusion in the new ban; Iraq was dropped in the March revision.

Just hours before an amended version of the ban was scheduled to take effect, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the Federal District Court in Honolulu granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the Trump administration executive branch from enforcing or implementing two key sections of the order across the nation. It was preparing to hear arguments on October 10, before removing the case from its schedule on Monday. Chad is also a Muslim-majority nation. The Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit upheld Watson on September 7 and said that the Trump administration can not ban grandparents and other family members of citizens and legal residents from coming to the United States from the six countries named in Trump's March 6 executive order. For example, while Iran remains on the list of countries with travel restrictions, student and exchange visas are an exception. First, the restrictions are the product of an extensive country-by-country review of cooperation with US requests for information on possible terrorist suspects, and of technical capabilities to screen travelers. The ban on non-Muslim countries, however, are more diplomatic in nature: Venezuela's ban is different in that it only targets government officials, while all relations with North Korea have been frozen for quite some time.

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