The new ban is more expansive than the previous two.
President Donald Trump issued an expanded new travel ban on Sunday, restricting travel from eight countries indefinitely.
The new rules prevent most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea from visiting the U.S. for business, school, or leisure purposes. It also bans several Venezuelan families from entering the U.S.
“As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump said in the executive order. While boarding Air Force One, he added: “The travel ban — the tougher the better,” ABC News reported.
Trump said the ban aims to protect the U.S. from foreign terrorists. Unlike his previous two bans issued earlier this year, this proclamation is condition-based as opposed to time-based, and the restrictions can be changed or lifted if these nations adhere to U.S. protocol for security screening, according to the White House. The exact restrictions are also more tailored to each country than those of prior orders.
Trump’s previous bans sparked nationwide protests, with residents calling the bans discriminatory. Many of the president’s opponents claimed the executive orders were a thinly disguised way to implement his campaign promise to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders could “figure out what is going on,” following terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
The latest ban includes countries that are not predominantly Muslim. The addition of North Korea to the list comes after tensions between the two countries heightened, as Trump delivered a speech at the United Nations last week denigrating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Visa-holders from these countries will be allowed to stay for the duration of their visa, according to The New York Times.
Federal judges struck down both of the prior two travel bans, issued in January and March. The Supreme Court partially reinstated the March ban in June, while waiting to hear arguments on the case in October.
By including non-Muslim countries in the ban, opponents who have argued it is discriminatory will face a tougher legal battle, according to experts.
“The greater the sense that the policy reflects a considered, expert judgment, the less the temptation (by courts) to second-guess the executive,” Saikrishna Prakash, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, told Reuters in an email. “It looks less like a matter of prejudice or a desire to fulfill a campaign promise.”
Executive director of the ACLU quickly rebuked the idea that the new ban was substantively different from the prior two, telling The New York Times it was an attempt to “obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban.”