Trump says US will add countries to travel ban

Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump, right, arrive at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

DAVOS (AP) – President Donald Trump says the U.S. will soon be adding countries to its much-litigated travel ban.

It’s unclear exactly how many countries will be included in any expansion of the ban, but Trump said Wednesday that he would announce shortly that the U.S. will be adding “a couple” of countries to the ban.

He told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he’s doing it to protect the United States.

The current ban suspends immigrant and non-immigrant visas to applicants from the affected countries, but it allows exceptions, including for students and those who have established “significant contacts” in the U.S.

It represents a significant softening from Trump’s initial order, which had suspended travel from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, blocked refugee admissions for 120 days and suspended travel from Syria.

That order was immediately blocked by the courts, prompting a months-long effort by the administration to develop clear standards and federal review processes to try to withstand legal muster.

Under the current system, restrictions are targeted at countries that the Department of Homeland Security says fail to share sufficient information with the U.S. or haven’t taken necessary security precautions, such as issuing electronic passports with biometric information and sharing information about travelers’ terror-related and criminal histories.

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