US President Donald Trump today replaced his controversial immigration veto over six Muslim-majority countries, which expired on Sunday, with a decree imposing restrictions on eight nations, including Venezuela.
The countries affected by the new measure are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, Trump said in its official notification, which will take effect on 18 October.
The measures are intended to “improve surveillance capabilities and processes to detect attempted entry into the United States of terrorists or other threats to public security.”
Trump’s veto, issued in March, came into force in late June and prevented the entry of refugees to the United States for 120 days and, for 90 days, citizens of six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Somalia, Sudan , Syria, Yemen and Libya).
The Supreme Court of the United States allowed its entry into force and gave the Executive discretion to define its own rules of application, although at a hearing scheduled for October 10 will study its legality in depth.
The new restrictions are based on a global review based on information that the affected nations share with the United States, not on religion or race, senior government officials said in a telephone news conference.
“Restrictions are vital to national security,” a senior official said.
They are therefore joining Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, and Sudan is leaving for its “best level of cooperation” with the US authorities, said the government representatives at the press conference.
Venezuela is included because “its government does not cooperate in verifying whether its citizens represent threats to national security or public safety,” according to the order issued by Trump.
“The Venezuelan government,” he explains, “fails to adequately share information related to public security and terrorism.”
In addition, the Venezuelan Executive also does not cooperate “completely” in the reception of “its nationals subject to final orders of expulsion of the United States”, according to the text of Trump.
Therefore, the restrictions focus on “Venezuelan government officials who are responsible for identified deficiencies,” he adds.
The US president proclaimed a first version of the immigration veto on January 27, but had to sign another executive order in March to replace him and restrict him to continuing legal setbacks.
The second decree, unlike the previous one, left out the citizens of Iraq and modified the provision on Syrian refugees by prohibiting their entry into the country for 120 days and not indefinitely, as the original veto established.