The Trump administration plans to add to the number of countries covered under its travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia, according to administration officials who have seen the list.
The administration plans to place visa restrictions limits on travelers from seven new countries: Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. The countries wouldn’t all face blanket bans on travel to the U.S., but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.
The officials said the list isn’t final. The names of the seven countries was first reported by Politico.
The administration plans to roll out its expanded travel restrictions on Monday, marking the three-year anniversary of the initial travel ban Mr. Trump signed on his seventh day in office.
The administration has said its policy restricting travel is necessary to prevent potential acts of terrorism, as countries on the list don’t adequately vet their travelers to the U.S.
Its first order, which banned travel to the U.S. by most residents of seven majority-Muslim countries, was struck down by a federal court and withdrawn. A second iteration of the ban, issued in March 2017, was also struck down by a federal judge who said it still amounted to religious discrimination against Muslims.
A third version of the travel ban, issued in September 2017, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling in June 2018 on the grounds that federal law gives the president broad authority to suspend entry to the U.S.
That current restrictions blocked travel by individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea and by political officials from Venezuela. The administration briefly included Chad on the ban list, but removed the country in April 2018.
Unlike the initial list, most of the new countries don’t have majority-Muslim populations. Several of them, however, have had relatively higher rates of their citizens overstaying visas in the U.S., according to Department of Homeland Security data.
In the 2018 fiscal year, 24% of Eritreans on business or visitor visas overstayed their permits, along with 15% of Nigerians and 12% of people from Sudan. Those compared with a total overstay rate in the category of 1.9%.