President Donald Trump had said his administration was preparing to add a “couple of countries” to the controversial list of states whose citizens are subject to travel bans or severe restrictions on entry to the United States.
“We are adding a couple of countries to it. We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe,” he said on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, adding that the names of the new countries would be announced, “very shortly”.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the administration planned to add seven countries including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and others in Africa and Asia.
It said the other nations being considered for new rules were Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.
These countries would not necessarily face blanket bans on US travel but could see certain types of visas curtailed, the paper said, quoting administration officials.
Some of these countries could see their nationals barred from participating in a visa lottery programme, which Trump has repeatedly railed against, saying he would prefer a skilled immigration policy along the lines of the systems in Canada or Australia.
Unlike the nations covered by the current ban, most of these new additions do not have Muslim-majority populations.
The paper added that administration officials were still debating whether to include one or two of the countries, and the new list would be announced on Monday.