President Donald Trump on Tuesday lifted travel restrictions on Chad, citing improvements in the “identity-management and information sharing practices” of the African nation, one of several targeted by the president’s controversial ban.
The president, according to a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, signed a proclamation that will allow Chad nationals to “again be able to receive visas for travel to the United States.”
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The move came following an assessment from the Department of Homeland Security that determined that the country’s travel systems were improved “sufficiently to meet the baseline security standard of the United States,” the White House said.
“The President’s first priority is the safety and security of the American people,” Sanders said. “The tailored travel restrictions…will keep our country safe and encourage countries to meet our baseline requirements.”
The central African country was added to Trump’s travel ban proclamation in September, along with North Korea and Venezuela, in an action aimed at addressing judicial concerns that the original measure unlawfully targeted Muslim travelers.
According to the Associated Press, Chad ran afoul of U.S. guidelines for security conditions when it ran out of the special passport paper needed to comply with a DHS request. The shortage ultimately led the country to miss “baseline” DHS criteria and landed it on Trump’s revamped travel restrictions list.
Despite the status change, top U.S. officials in recent months praised Chad’s counterterrorism efforts and left the door open to lifting travel restrictions on the country.
Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters last month that Chad had taken significant steps toward bolstering its security processes. “These steps I think are going to allow us to begin to normalize the travel relationship with Chad,” he said.