The White House is considering dramatically expanding its much-litigated travel ban to additional countries amid a renewed election-year focus on immigration by President Trump, according to six people familiar with the deliberations. A document outlining the plans — timed to coincide with the third anniversary of Trump's January 2017 executive order — has been circulating the White House. But the countries that would be affected are blacked out, said two people who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the measure isn't final. It's unclear how many countries would be included in the expansion, but two of the people said that seven countries — a majority of them Muslim — would be added. The most recent ban has restrictions on five majority-Muslim nations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea.
Another person said the expansion could focus on several countries included in the first iteration of the ban but removed during litigation. Iraq, Sudan and Chad, for instance, had been affected by the order, which the Supreme Court upheld 5-4 after the administration released a watered-down version intended to withstand legal scrutiny. Trump later criticized his Justice Department for the changes. The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the new effort. Draft documents show about "2.5% of all immigrant visas issued by the US Department of State" would be affected, per BuzzFeed. Just this week, civil rights organizations urged House leaders to take up legislation to end the travel ban and prevent a new one.
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