President Donald Trump issued a new open-ended travel ban Sunday that saw North Korea, Venezuela and Chad among a list of eight countries cited for what Washington called a poor security and lack of cooperation with US authorities.
The new restrictions replace an expiring 90-day measure that had locked Trump in political and legal battles since he took office in January over what critics said was an effort to block Muslims from the country.
“We are taking action today to protect the safety and security of the American people by establishing a minimum security baseline for entry into the United States,” Trump said in a statement.
“We cannot afford to continue the failed policies of the past, which present an unacceptable danger to our country. My highest obligation is to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and in issuing this new travel order, I am fulfilling that sacred obligation.”
Sudan, one of the six majority-Muslim countries on the original travel ban, was removed from the list.
Full bans were newly placed on nationals from North Korea and Chad, and extended for five countries on the original list: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Limited restrictions meanwhile were placed on Venezuela, for officials from government agencies including interior and foreign ministries, the main police and intelligence services, and other agencies. Trump’s order said Caracas was not cooperating on security issues.