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Statement by the Press Secretary on Screening of Foreign Nationals Entering the United States

January 31, 2020

Defending American lives and safety is the President's highest duty.

Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 9645, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security submitted to the President a report—drafted in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence—on global compliance with standards established for the screening and vetting of foreign nationals seeking to come to the United States. As set forth in Presidential Proclamation 9645, countries that fail to conduct proper identity management protocols and procedures, or that fail to provide information necessary to comply with basic national security requirements—including sharing terrorist, criminal, or other identity information—face the risk of restrictions and limitations on the entry of their nationals into the United States.

Today, following the recommendations provided by Members of his Cabinet and his advisors, President Donald J. Trump has issued a proclamation maintaining entry restrictions on certain nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia; suspending the overseas issuance of immigrant visas for certain nationals of Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria; and suspending participation in the "Visa Lottery" for certain nationals of Sudan and Tanzania. The new restrictions will not apply to tourist, business, or other nonimmigrant travel. The Administration will work with the non-compliant countries to bring them into compliance with United States security standards.

It is fundamental to national security, and the height of common sense, that if a foreign nation wishes to receive the benefits of immigration and travel to the United States, it must satisfy basic security conditions outlined by America's law-enforcement and intelligence professionals. Proclamation 9645 was reviewed and upheld as lawful by the Supreme Court. President Trump's security and travel proclamations have immeasurably improved our national security, substantially raised the global standard for information-sharing, and dramatically strengthened the integrity of the United States' immigration system. The orders have been a tremendous and vital success.


Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides:

"Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

Donald J. Trump, Statement by the Press Secretary on Screening of Foreign Nationals Entering the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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