USA expands its controversial travel ban to include Chad

The six-country travel ban ordered by US President Donald Trump expire with the White House considering further measures

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the new travel restrictions imposed by the Trump administration - which now include North Korea - still amount to a "Muslim ban".

"As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people", Trump wrote on Sunday, adding: "Making America Safe is my number one priority". Although the proclamation Trump signed on Sunday adds two non-Muslim-majority countries to the list of nations subject to travel restrictions, North Korea and Venezuela, civil liberties and immigrant advocacy groups say that isn't enough to fix the problems that prompted them to sue over the president's previous orders.

"No matter how the Republican White House tries to dress it up, this is the same immoral and unsafe ban as before, with the same discriminatory motivations and the same cruel impacts", Pelosi said in a statement. "We will not admit those into our country we can not safely vet".

It said the eight countries failed to comply with a new USA government baseline created to ensure travelers do not pose a national security or public safety threat.

The new proclamation includes waivers available to foreigners with close family members in the United States and for some people seeking to come to the USA for work or to do business with US firms, but if the courts allow the new directive to take effect the waiver may apply to a smaller set of relatives. The new proclamation also places travel restrictions on certain Venezuelan government officials and their families. But as of late Monday, the country's state media hadn't made any comments on the new ban.

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The Sunday proclamation could be less vulnerable to legal attack, scholars and other experts said, because it is the result of a months-long analysis of foreign vetting procedures by US officials. Trump during his campaign called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

The restrictions are targeted at countries that the Department of Homeland Security says fail to share sufficient information with the US or haven't taken necessary security precautions.

Several federal courts blocked the ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court passed it to take effect from June with some new changes. The administration, the court said, could not block from entering the country those with a "bona fide" connection to the United States, such as family members or those with firm offers of employment.

Citizens of Iran will not be eligible for tourism and business visas, but remain eligible for student and cultural exchange visas if they undergo additional scrutiny.

The Supreme Court, which was scheduled to hold oral arguments on cases involving the original travel ban on October 10, must now decide whether to go ahead with a review of issues raised by the new and old restrictions alike, or let the lower courts deal with the new order first. 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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