White House Issues More Travel Restrictions – Including North Korean And Venezuela

The White House will act to prohibit the entry of citizens from North Korea as it implements travels restrictions on various countries namely, Iran, Chad, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia.

Key Takeaway:

  • US alleges that North Korean did not meet information-sharing requirements
  • Donald Trump justifies ban to “protect security and interests of US”
  • New restrictions will come into effect on 18th October

Trump recently retweeted, “Making American Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” when announcing the new policy.

The new additions of North Korean and Venezuela shows the White House’s diversion from the original, Muslim-majority countries. Such diversion can be seen as a broadening of the travel-ban powers following a small victory in the Supreme court before the travel ban goes to the High Court.

Although North Koreans do not constitute large amounts of travel into the United States, the White House is using the ban as a political ploy to show their defiance against hostile North Korean threats.

One main distinction between the newest travel ban and the original is its indefinite character. The original ban had time limits, however, these new restrictions operate to block citizens out indefinitely.

In the wake of this proclamation, officials have worked to neutralise the volatility by stressing that valid visas will not be revoked as a result of the proclamation and the orders will permit discretionary case-by-case waivers.

Such travel restrictions work to target countries that the Department of Homeland Security allegedly refuse to share information with the US. Miles Taylor, counsellor to acting Homeland Security Secretary asserts that the “recommended actions that are touch and that are tailored, including restrictions and enhanced screening for certain countries.”

The US has handled the ban with more coherence than its predecessor by sharing a benchmark which each country had to meet, including issuing electronic passports with biometric information and sharing travelers’ terror-related or criminal backgrounds. Each country in the world is required to reply and comply with the new benchmarks in 50 days and the newly banned countries are those that refused or were unable to comply to such stipulations.

The travel ban measures have been criticized by rights group Amnesty International USA noting, “just because the original ban was especially outrageous does not mean we should stand for yet another version of government-sanctions discrimination.”

Critics accuse Trump of overstepping his authority and constitutional rights of the American population against religious bias. The new policy complicates the Supreme Court’s review of the order as it is asserted that such bans are unconstitutional. However, the White House has continuously stressed that the “restrictions either previously or now were never, ever ever based on race, religion or creed,” argued a senior administration official. The official asserted that “those governments are simply not compliant with our basic security requirements.”

As the travel ban continues to take its due course, one would beg to question whether the White House is using this travel ban as a sanction and political ploy to support its own political motives.

Karen Cheung