President Trump announced on Tuesday he would remove Chad from the list of countries which were on his Travel Ban list.
Based on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) assessment, President Donald J. Trump signed a proclamation today announcing that the Republic of Chad has improved its identity-management and information sharing practices sufficiently to meet the baseline security standard of the United States. Chad nationals will therefore again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States.
Today’s decision is based on DHS’s required 180-day review of entry restrictions imposed by Proclamation 9645 on nationals of eight countries. The review was based on the enhanced global security measures that DHS and the Department of State established, the first ever set of minimum requirements for international cooperation in support of our visa and immigration vetting and adjudications. Presidential Proclamation 9645 directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to recommend whether the entry restrictions should be continued, modified, terminated, or supplemented, based on a review that accounts for whether countries have improved their identity-management and information-sharing protocols and procedures.
The President’s first priority is the safety and security of the American people. The tailored travel restrictions imposed by Proclamation 9645, and reaffirmed by today’s proclamation the President today, will keep our country safe and encourage countries to meet our baseline requirements. These travel restrictions help prevent potential terrorists and criminals from reaching our shores and encourage foreign governments to live up to their obligations to enhance security and share essential information with the United States. By lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad, the United States is demonstrating that the criteria set forth in Proclamation 9645 can and do work to enhance the security of the United States.
Here is why they were on it in the first place.
Chad and every other country had been given 50 days to prove it was meeting a “baseline” of security conditions the Trump administration says is needed for the U.S. to properly screen potential visitors. One condition was that countries provide a recent sample of its passports so that the Homeland Security Department could analyze how secure they really are.
Lacking the special passport paper, Chad’s government couldn’t comply, but offered to provide a pre-existing sample of the same type of passport, several U.S. officials said. It wasn’t enough to persuade Homeland Security to make an exception to requirements the agency has been applying strictly and literally to countries across the globe, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss disagreements within the administration.
Still, the U.S. told Chad it could be removed once the issues were addressed, with national security adviser H.R. McMaster saying at the time that Chad could come off the list “maybe in a couple of months.” McMaster spoke to Chadian leader Idriss Deby last week about getting the visa restrictions removed, the State Department said, but the country remains on the list.
“The restrictions placed on Chad dealt with more than just the receipt of a passport exemplar. Chad does not adequately share public safety and terrorism-related information,” said Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan. He said the U.S. was working closely with Chad on the issue and was “eager to see Chad develop more secure travel documents and make other enhancements.”
This is welcome news for the Trump administration. The Travel Ban has fallen under great scrutiny and this is certainly a major win for it. Chad went from a country that wasn’t sufficiently relaying necessary information to the United States to one that was.