The US has expanded its travel ban to include people from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad.
According to the White House, the new restrictions follow a review of information sharing by foreign governments.
President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation on September 24.
He said in a post on Twitter: “Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
The restrictions on Venezuelans apply only to government officials and their family members.
The three new countries join five others from President Trump’s original travel ban: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. However, the new proclamation removed restrictions that were placed on Sudan.
President Trump’s original ban was highly controversial, as it affected six majority-Muslim countries, and was widely labeled a “Muslim ban”.
The travel ban was subject to a range of legal challenges and several large-scale protests, and is due to be considered by the US Supreme Court in October, having been partly reinstated in July.
The American Civil Liberties Union rights group said the addition of the new countries “doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban”.
It is not yet clear how President Trump’s new proclamation, which changes several key elements, will affect that legal challenge.
The addition of North Korea and Venezuela now means not all nations on the list are majority-Muslim.
The criteria for the new ban list is now based on vetting procedures and co-operation, and the restrictions have now been “tailored” on a country-by-country basis. The White House said North Korea did not co-operate with the US government “in any respect” and failed all requirements – and so all travel to the US by its citizens has been banned. Chad, while an important counter-terrorism partner, did not share terrorism-related and other public information the US required – business and tourist visas for its nationals are suspended. Only “certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members” have been banned – its government has recently been hit with economic sanctions by the US, who now say it does not co-operate “in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats” and does not receive deported nationals willingly.
Most of the restrictions come in the form of suspension of B-1 and B-2 business and tourist visas, and they do not appear to be time-limited in the way that President Trump’s former executive order was.
In a fact sheet accompanying President Trump’s proclamation, the White House said that while Iraq also falls short of the required criteria, the country was not included in the new restrictions “because of the close co-operative relationship between the United States” and their part in fighting so-called Islamic State.
The restrictions come into effect on October 18, but will not apply to those already in possession of a valid visa, the White House said.
Chad has declared a state of emergency after Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad region.
At least two people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomb attack.
Ministers say sweeping powers to control people’s movements are needed because the area, which borders Nigeria, is targeted by Boko Haram.
Chad has been instrumental in helping Nigeria retake most of the areas Boko Haram had seized in northern Nigeria.
In the last few months, the militant group has intensified attacks in remote areas around Lake Chad.
Boko Haram is suspected of involvement in the killing of at least two people in a village in Chad on November 8 and three Nigerian refugees in northern Cameroon on November 9.
The state of emergency will give the governor of the region the authority to ban the movement of people and vehicles, search homes and recover arms, the government announced following an extraordinary cabinet meeting.
Aside from Chad, Boko Haram attacks have spread from north-eastern Nigeria, its traditional stronghold, to the neighboring countries of Niger and Cameroon.
Chad is also host to a new regional force set up to tackle the Nigeria-based militant Islamists.
Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria agreed to establish the 8,700-strong force, but it has yet to start operations in earnest because of reported funding difficulties.
According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent uprising to try to impose Islamist rule in northern Nigeria.
Niger and Chad forces have launched a ground and air offensive against militant group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.
The campaign is said to be targeting militants in Borno state.
The move came as Nigerian officials dismissed Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance to Islamic State (ISIS) as a reaction to military pressure from Nigeria and its allies.
The pledge was posted online on March 7 in an audio message by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.
Abubakar Shekau called on Muslims everywhere to swear loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Boko Haram has been fighting an insurgency to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria since 2009, and in recent months the violence has increasingly spilled over into neighboring states.
Chad, Cameroon and Niger have already been helping Nigeria in its battle against Boko Haram.
On March 6, the African Union endorsed the creation of a regional force of more than 8,000 troops to combat the group. However, the force’s remit will be limited to securing the Nigerian side of Lake Chad, rather than pushing further into Nigeria.
As the latest offensive began early on Sunday, a resident and an aid worker told AFP news agency there had been heavy arms fire close to Niger’s border with Nigeria.
A local radio station said that a convoy of more than 200 vehicles was moving towards the area, and that air strikes had been carried out on Saturday and early on Sunday.
The Nigerian military and troops from neighboring states have recently claimed some success in their campaign against Boko Haram, and Nigerian officials said the pledge of allegiance to IS was a sign of weakness
Army spokesman Col. Sami Usman Kukasheka said the Boko Haram leader was like a “drowning man”.
A spokesman for the Nigerian government, Mike Omeri, said Boko Haram needed help “as a result of the heavy casualties and bombardment and degrading of their capacity”.
However, Boko Haram militants have continued to launch deadly attacks.
On March 7, Boko Haram was blamed for a series of attacks in its former stronghold of Maiduguri, including suicide bombings, that left more than 50 people dead.
Nigeria postponed national elections by six weeks until March 28 in order to have more time to try to improve security in the north.
Col. Sami Usman Kukasheka called on Nigerians “to be more security conscious because given the onslaught on Boko Haram definitely they are bound to spring surprises”.
ISIS has forged links with other militant groups across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and in January, militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan pledged their allegiance.
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