Modified US travel ban expected to be stronger

White House declines to confirm or deny new travel ban

President Donald Trump made the announcement on Sunday, and a total of eight countries, including Chad, North Korea and Venezuela are on the list, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The Trump administration is preparing to replace its controversial travel ban with a new order tailored on a country-by-country basis but affecting slightly more than the six nations now targeted, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

That ban, which took effect in June, is now before the Supreme Court where it faces a key hearing over its constitutionality in October.

Unlike Mr. Trump's first travel ban, which sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges, officials said they worked for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments.

The Department of Homeland Security has recommended the president impose the new, targeted restrictions on foreign nationals from countries it says refuse to share sufficient information with the US or haven't taken necessary security precautions.

Trump has also blocked the issuance of all visas from North Korea and Syria, while for Iran, almost all visas were blocked except those for students and exchange visitors.

With the last version of the travel ban expiring Sunday, Trump signed a new proclamation creating travel restrictions for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia.

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"Making America Safe is my number one priority". After that date, the new restrictions will begin. Trump just released Muslim Ban 3.0, late on a Sunday night. Iraq was also removed from the ban. The restrictions could vary by country, officials said.

This is the next step in what began as his travel ban from six Muslim nations.

After the September 15 bombing attack on a London train, Trump wrote on Twitter that the new ban "should be far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct". Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added.

After a terrorist attack in London, he tweeted: "The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!"

"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", Trump said in the White House statement.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the revised travel ban on October 10, and it seems the new order will affect that case.

Critics have accused the president of discriminating against Muslims in violation of constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equal protection under the law, breaking existing USA immigration law and stoking religious hatred.

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