clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

President Trump is expected to scrap his travel ban — and replace it with a country-by-country system

But administration officials have not yet announced which countries are in the cross hairs.

President Trump speaks at a podium in front of a crowd of Air Force personnel. Alex Wong / Getty

President Donald Trump is expected to replace a travel ban that targeted immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority countries with a new, broader system that imposes limits on a country-by-country basis.

But administration officials previewing the change Friday declined repeatedly to reveal which countries’ citizens would be subject to the new travel restrictions, citing the fact that Trump has not yet formally adopted the new policy.

For now, the Trump administration has said it is seeking to push other countries to share more detailed and verifiable information about travelers, or risk new penalties. It’s part of the president’s push for “extreme vetting” meant to prevent terrorist threats from reaching U.S. soil.

Specifically, the U.S. government wants foreign governments to put in place new security checks, like “biometric e-passports,” as well as greater “sharing of terrorist and criminal history information, which we need to do proper vetting,” said Miles Taylor, counselor to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on a call with reporters Friday.

After negotiating such changes with other countries, DHS officials presented their recommendations — including a list of foreign governments that did not meet new security standards — to Trump this week. And with it, they detailed potential penalties based on “each country’s deficiencies, and the threat [they pose] and other relevant circumstances,” Taylor said.

Now, Trump must choose whether to adopt those recommendations or modify them. But he’s expected to do so by Sunday, when his previous 90-day travel ban — exclusively targeting six Middle Eastern countries, like Syria and Iran — is set to expire. Ultimately, the new policy could affect countries that the White House did not previously target, an idea Trump himself has raised in recent weeks.

Trump’s new directive on immigration could also draw another round of opposition from Silicon Valley, where tech giants have fought the White House repeatedly over the way it treats high-skilled foreign workers and child immigrants.

When the president ordered his first travel ban — days after taking office — companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft supported efforts to challenge it in court, and federal judges ultimately blocked its implementation. They joined another challenge in April, after Trump issued a more narrow set of rules.

That fight quickly landed in the lap of the Supreme Court. By the summer, though, the justices allowed a modified version of Trump’s order to take affect. They have yet to issue a decision on its legality, but it is unclear how oral arguments will proceed now that the White House has revised the policy.

This article originally appeared on