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Trump's travel ban benefits only China

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By Cobus van Staden

JOHANNESBURG ― Overwhelmed by the coronavirus panic, U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment folderol, and the chaotic Iowa Democratic caucuses, few took notice of the Trump administration's announcement that it will expand its controversial 2017 travel ban to six more countries, including four in Africa.

It is a politically expedient move that will do nothing to make Americans safer ― and will help a country that the Trump's own White House describes as a "strategic competitor."

Trump's original policy, unveiled in 2017, barred travelers from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from entering the United States. The expanded version prohibits anyone from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria from applying to live and work in the U.S., and blocks Sudanese and Tanzanians from participating in the Diversity Visa Program, the annual green card lottery created to boost immigration from underrepresented countries.

The Trump administration claimed that the 2017 ban was needed to protect Americans from Islamist terrorism. Its justification for the ban's expansion is "information-sharing deficiencies and national security risk factors," such as lapses in tracking suspected terrorists.

But, just as Trump's border wall is unlikely to stop inflows of undocumented migrants from Central and South America, the travel ban never had much potential to make Americans safer. None of the 14 most significant terrorist attacks or attempted attacks on U.S. territory in the last quarter-century would have been........

© The Korea Times