After a lengthy hiatus, Chadians can now apply for visas to enter the United States.
President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Tuesday that removed Chad from the list of countries on the travel ban, stating the country had upgraded its security apparatus to meet the Department of Homeland Security’s standards.
“Based on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) assessment, President Donald J. Trump signed a proclamation today announcing that the Republic of Chad has improved its identity-management and information sharing practices sufficiently to meet the baseline security standard of the United States,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Chad nationals will therefore again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States.”
The initial inclusion of Chad on the travel list back in September perplexed national security experts because of Chad’s position as a key counterterrorism partner in the fight against Boko Haram.
“From my perspective it makes absolutely no sense,” former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria during George W. Bush’s administration, John Campbell, told VICE News at the time. “It just doesn’t added up.”
What exactly those baseline security measures include is still unclear. But reports indicate one reason why Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, was on the list in the first place was because it ran out of passport paper and couldn’t meet the DHS’ request for samples.
The Trump administration has consistently promoted the travel ban, which still restricts Now, other countries Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea and several government officials from Venezuela, as a measure of national security. Sanders reiterated that message on Tuesday.
"By lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad, the United States is demonstrating that the criteria set forth in Proclamation 9645 can and do work to enhance the security of the United States," she said.
Cover image: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by National Security Advisor John Bolton as he speaks about the FBI raid at his lawyer Michael Cohen's office, while receiving a briefing from senior military leaders regarding Syria, in the Cabinet Room, on April 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. The FBI raided the office of Michael Cohen on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into the president's administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)