WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (KUNA) -- The US is now fully implementing a controversial immigration policy on Friday that places various travel restrictions on foreign visitors from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela, and Yemen, while challenges against it continue in federal courts.
The State Department announced that US embassies and consulates around the world have now begun implementing Presidential Proclamation 9,645 (Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats), after the US Supreme Court approved it this week.
The latest version of the order, widely-referred to as the travel ban, placed restrictions of varying severity on foreign nationals from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. Previous versions were blocked by federal courts around the US for exclusively banning citizens from Muslim countries.
The Supreme Court lifted the order that temporarily blocks enforcement imposed by the lower courts, allowing the entirety of the new ban to take effect until the legal challenges to it have ultimately been resolved by the federal appeals court system.
On Friday, lawyers challenged the updated travel ban at the US Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, just two days after a similar challenge was heard by a federal appeals court in Seattle, Washington.
The Trump administration has repeatedly defended the measure as necessary to "protect the American people" from terrorist attack.
The State Department said that the restrictions in the more "tailored" version followed an "extensive review" of the countries and were "assessed based on whether countries met certain information sharing criteria.
Restrictions are tailored to each country" and are not intended to be permanent.
No visas will be revoked under the order and do not apply to certain categories of individuals, including those who already have visas or those inside the US. (end)