Days before the expiration of President Trump’s much-contested travel ban, the White House is reviewing a security report that aides say could serve as the basis of a new, and perhaps broader, version.
The classified report by the Department of Homeland Security, sent to the White House last week, is a study of the available security and intelligence information in countries worldwide, not just the six Muslim-majority nations subject to Trump’s order banning travel by their citizens to the United States. That order expires on Sunday.
Based on the findings, Trump could decide to keep the travel ban in place, or either limit or expand it, possibly before Sunday.
The order also stopped all refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days, so that ban would continue in effect for roughly a month more. The Supreme Court in June had allowed the refugee ban to take effect, with exceptions for refugees who could show a “bona fide” connection to the U.S., along with a revised travel ban for 90 days in the six specified nations.
David Lapan, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said it was “certainly possible” that more countries could come under travel restrictions.
“It’s about the conditions in the countries and the quality of information, and not the political or religious factors,” he said.
“You have Muslim-majority countries that are in civil war, you have Muslim-majority countries that have major terrorism problems,” Lapan said. “You could have countries that were not majority-Muslim that would have the same problems.”
The White House declined to comment, but Trump, writing on Twitter after the London train explosion last week, made it clear that he would like to put in place even broader travel restrictions.
“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific — but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!” he tweeted.