‘The tougher, the better’: Trump signs expanded travel ban

Travelers from eight countries will face restrictions on entry to the U.S, ranging from a total ban to more targeted restrictions, under a new proclamation signed by President Donald Trump Sunday.

The new rules, which will impact the citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, will go into effect on Oct. 18. Officials stressed that valid visas would not be revoked as a result of the proclamation.

“The tougher, the better,” Trump said about the ban Sunday.

Some countries will face full bans. Others are more tailored, such as restrictions impacting Venezuela, which will only apply to certain government officials and their families.

“Making America Safe is my number one priority,” Trump tweeted. “We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”

The restrictions are based on a new baseline developed by DHS that includes factors such as whether countries issue electronic passports with biometric information and share information about travelers’ terror-related and criminal histories. The U.S. then shared those benchmarks with every country in the world and gave them 50 days to comply.

The restrictions are designed to “better keep terrorists and criminals” from entering the U.S., Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said.

“The restrictions announced are tough and tailored,” Duke said. “They send a message to foreign governments that they must work with us to enhance security.”

Trump’s original controversial ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries expired Sundays, 90 days after it went into effect. That ban also applied to Sudan.

It met fierce criticism from people who said it violated the U.S. Constitution’s protections against religious bias. Trump had called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during his campaign.