As Donald Trump’s impeachment trial heats up, the president confirmed this week that he plans to expand his controversial travel ban, USA Today reports.
According to sources close to the matter, Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and Myanmar will potentially be added to a list that already includes Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.
Trump signed the initial travel ban on his seventh day in office. With the third anniversary of that announcement approaching Monday, Trump confirmed his plans for expansion this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to USA Today.
“We are adding a couple of countries to it,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “You see what’s going on in the world, our country has to be safe.”
Politico reports that the final list, which has not been confirmed, could be announced as early as Monday. Stipulations will likely be outlined at the time.
Though the ban is not expected to bar all citizens of the African and Asian nations identified from entering the United States, it is likely that very heavy restrictions will be placed on those trying to come in.
The White House has given little details on what the expansion will look like, but spokesman Hogan Gidley gave a statement to Politico in which he said that the travel ban, which was originally instated on January 27, 2017, has been “profoundly successful in protecting our country and raising the security baseline around the world.”
Gidley also alluded to the fact that the move is being orchestrated to combat terrorism. “If a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures — because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States.”
Despite being framed as a counter-terrorism measure, it should be noted that in early 2018, Trump called Haiti, Nigeria, and other African nations “shithole countries.” Those familiar with the remarks said Trump asked why the country would want people from Haiti and more Africans in the US, adding that the US should get more people from countries like Norway.