WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban, according to a senior administration official.
The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries.
They would replace the ban on entry by citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, which Trump announced early in his term and later modified.
The policy was under a 90-day review, which expires Sunday. The new measures are expected to take effect by then.
The White House declined to confirm the new measures, but said in a statement: “The Trump administration will ensure we only admit those who can be properly vetted and will not pose a threat to national security or public safety.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the change.
Despite the 90-day expiration date on the travel ban, its path has been littered with a series of false starts and stops for the last eight months as federal courts have chipped away at its original intent and scope.
President Donald Trump recently suggested on Twitter a “far larger, tougher and more specific” travel ban was needed in the wake of a terror incident in London, saying, “but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”
Since late June, foreign nationals from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria with no “bona fide relationship” to those in the US have been banned from entering the country.
When Trump signed the original travel ban at the end of his first week in office, he sat flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis. He smiled as he held up a copy of the signed order, and after reading its title, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” proclaiming to all: “we all know what that means.”
But after a series of blunt setbacks in courts across the country, he was nowhere to be found when travel ban version 2.0 was released — instead sending his top Cabinet members, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions out to the cameras in March.
And the revised ban was substantively different than its predecessor: the most significant change was exempting green card holders and those with valid visas — the inclusions of which, when combined with a delayed roll-out, avoided any pandemonium at airports.