Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar (known as Burma) will see restrictions, except for immigrants who have aided the United States, CNN reports. This new stipulation comes three years after Trump signed the first travel ban, which many critics saw as an effort to ban Muslims, led to confusion at airports, and eventually went to the Supreme Court. The announcement comes at the end of a huge week for Trump, as he’s expected to be acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial.
The new ban has caused backlash over its targeting of African countries, but the White House has maintained that the travel ban is crucial to national security.
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the third iteration of the travel ban after previous versions were challenged in court. The current policy prevents seven countries from entry to varying degrees: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea. Chad was taken off the list last April after the administration said the country enhanced its security measures. The new ban only includes categories of immigration visa applicants. All immigrants from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria will be banned from the U.S., while only green card lotteries will be restricted from Sudan and Tanzania.
According to 2018 data, approximately 12,398 people will be affected by the new ban. The restrictions apply to immigrant visas, but not students, other temporary visitors, or refugee processing. The new policy is slated for implementation on Feb. 22.
"Travelers on their way to the United States will not be denied entry as a result of this proclamation," a DHS official said. Nationals of the six countries already in the US or those with a valid visa to come to the US will "not be impacted."
The updated policy arrives at a moment when the U.S. is dealing with how to handle the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, the White House said it would deny entry to foreign nationals who have traveled in China in the last 14 days, apart from the immigration restrictions.