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President Trump considering major expansion of countries on 'travel ban' list ahead of 2020 election

Policy has impacted mostly Muslim-majority countries

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is considering a major expansion of his controversial "travel ban" policy amid a renewed focus on immigration issues important to his political base ahead of the 2020 election.

The controversial policy has impacted mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria. North Korea and Venezuela were also included on the president's most recent iteration of the policy.

But according to the Associated Press, a document recently floating around the White House says that Trump will expand the policy this month.

It is not clear which countries will be added because the list of countries was blacked out on the document, the AP reported. However, sources told the AP the expanded list will include seven new countries, most of them being Muslim-majority.

Some of the countries on the expanded list could be those that were previously impacted by the policy, only to be later dropped, including Iraq, Sudan, and Chad.

The most significant reason that Trump implemented the "travel ban" is that the Muslim-majority counties are hotbeds for terrorism. North Korea was added because the country does "not cooperate with the United States Government in any respect and fails to satisfy all information-sharing requirements," while Venezuela was added because its government does not fully cooperate with the U.S. government, according to the State Department.

While citizens from Syria, Somalia, and North Korea are completely prohibited from entering the U.S., citizens from Yemen, Iran, and Libya can enter the U.S. with the proper visa, while some Venezuelan government officials and their family members are permitted entry into the U.S.

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