President Trump has expanded his 2017 travel ban to include six more countries with sizeable Muslim populations, USA Today reports. Announced Friday, the new plan will block overseas visas for nationals of Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Eritrea, and keep people from Tanzania and Sudan from entering America via the diversity lottery. The White House said the countries "fail to conduct proper identity management" or "fail to provide information necessary to comply with basic national security requirements—including sharing terrorist, criminal, or other identity information." The new ban has limits—it allows non-immigrant visas for business, students, or travel—but critics are decrying it as unfair, racist, or a political ploy to excite Trump's base for the 2020 election.
"The ban should be ended, not expanded," said an ACLU official, per CNN. "President Trump is doubling down on his signature anti-Muslim policy—and using the ban as a way to put even more of his prejudices into practice by excluding more communities of color." The White House said it targeted immigrant visas partly because it's easier to deport a visitor or tourist, but harder to remove someone who has emigrated to America. Immigrants can also apply for waivers, and countries can be removed from the list by adjusting their policies. The new restrictions are likely to affect over 12,300 possible immigrants next year in addition to the 135 million people hindered by the initial, seven-country ban, per the New York Times. The new ban is set to kick in on February 22. (Read more travel ban stories.)