New 'targeted' Trump travel ban could cover several more countries
US President Donald Trump is considering a new version of his travel ban which could include restrictions on travelers from additional countries. Mr Trump's ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority nations is set to expire on Sunday, 90 days after it took effect. Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security Secretary, has recommended the president impose new, more targeted restrictions to replace the blanket ban, and those restrictions could vary by country. "The acting secretary has recommended actions that are tough and that are tailored, including restrictions and enhanced screening for certain countries," Miles Taylor, counselor to the Homeland Security Secretary, said. The Homeland Security Department at first identified 17 countries that had failed to meet US standards, the Wall Street Journal reported. Those standards included not issuing reliable passports, and not giving the US details of known terrorists. Around half of the 17 countries subsequently improved their security, leaving eight or nine that the department recommended restrictions on. Mr Taylor said the proposed restrictions were "tailored and specific to each country". He added: "Some countries may have similar restrictions to others, but there is a spectrum." Officials refused to say exactly how many countries - and which countries - might be affected, insisting the president had yet to make a final decision on how to proceed. The president is expected to sign a proclamation once he has made a decision. Mr Trump's ban, which went into effect in June following a round of legal challenges, has applied to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who lacked a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States". H.R. McMaster, Mr Trump's national security adviser, said Sunday that the president was considering new restrictions in an effort to keep the American people safe. He said: "Well, this is something that we're looking at, is how to protect the American people better, how to ensure that we know who these people are who are moving." "If you can't screen people effectively to know who's coming into your country, then you shouldn't allow people from that country to travel." Mr Trump had originally tried to ban the entry of people from seven countries, including Iraq, in a January executive order that sparked protests, chaos at airports and a flurry of legal challenges. Amid the backlash, Trump issued a second, narrower order, which he later derided as a "watered down, politically correct version". Last week Mr Trump said on Twitter: "The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!"