[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 72 (Friday, April 13, 2018)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 15937-15940]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-07864]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 83 , No. 72 / Friday, April 13, 2018 / 
Presidential Documents


Title 3--
The President

[[Page 15937]]

                Proclamation 9723 of April 10, 2018

Maintaining Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and 
                Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United 
                States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                In Proclamation 9645 of September 24, 2017 (Enhancing 
                Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting 
                Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or 
                Other Public-Safety Threats), I recognized that the 
                United States has ``developed a baseline for the kinds 
                of information required from foreign governments to 
                support the United States Government's ability to 
                confirm the identity of individuals seeking entry into 
                the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants, as 
                well as individuals applying for any other benefit 
                under the immigration laws, and to assess whether they 
                are a security or public-safety threat.'' That baseline 
                is designed to allow the United States to assess 
                adequately whether foreign nationals from a particular 
                country seeking to enter or apply for an immigration 
                benefit from the United States pose a national security 
                or public-safety threat. It also includes an assessment 
                of any national security or public-safety risks that 
                may emanate from a country's territory.

                After evaluating a comprehensive worldwide assessment 
                of the performance of more than 200 countries against 
                the baseline criteria, I placed entry suspensions and 
                limitations on nationals of countries that failed to 
                meet the baseline or whose nationals otherwise posed a 
                significant threat. I also directed the Secretary of 
                Homeland Security (Secretary), in consultation with the 
                Secretary of State, to develop and implement a process 
                to review whether countries have met the baseline 
                criteria described in Proclamation 9645; develop 
                recommendations regarding whether the suspensions and 
                limitations should be continued, modified, terminated, 
                or supplemented; and submit to me a report detailing 
                these recommendations every 180 days. I further 
                directed the Secretary of State to engage with 
                countries subject to these entry restrictions in order 
                to improve their performance against the baseline 
                criteria, as practicable and appropriate, and 
                consistent with the foreign policy, national security, 
                and public-safety objectives of the United States. In 
                taking these steps, I strengthened U.S. immigration 
                vetting capabilities and processes, making our country 
                safer. More work remains to be done, especially in 
                light of evolving modern global threats, but we have 
                made important progress.

                On March 30, 2018, the Secretary transmitted to me the 
                first of the required reports. In the report, the 
                Secretary recommended that the suspensions and 
                limitations on the entry of foreign nationals from one 
                country be terminated. The Secretary based this 
                recommendation on the results of the review and 
                engagement process developed with the Secretary of 
                State. The review process consisted of three phases: 
                (1) country data collection; (2) data review, analysis, 
                and engagement; and (3) consultation with executive 
                departments and agencies (agencies).

                During the data collection phase, the Department of 
                State (State) surveyed all U.S. diplomatic missions 
                worldwide on the performance of each country in meeting 
                the baseline. For countries with deficiencies 
                previously identified in the summer of 2017, missions 
                provided their perspective on any steps

[[Page 15938]]

                taken to improve. The Department of Homeland Security 
                (DHS) simultaneously collected and reviewed relevant 
                diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence 
                reporting, along with data from other authoritative 
                sources within the United States Government, 
                intergovernmental organizations, and the public domain.

                During the data review, analysis, and engagement phase, 
                DHS and State reviewed the information gathered, 
                including survey responses from missions covering more 
                than 200 countries, to determine whether each country's 
                performance against the baseline criteria had improved, 
                worsened, or remained the same. The review focused on 
                any observed changes during the review period in a 
                country's cooperation with the United States, as well 
                as any indicators of potential deficiencies in 
                satisfying the baseline. In cases in which survey 
                responses from the U.S. missions required follow-up, 
                DHS and State engaged with the missions and requested 
                additional information. DHS and State also, as 
                practicable and appropriate, verified each country's 
                implementation of the criteria against other 
                diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence 
                reporting, and through authoritative sources of 
                information external to the United States Government.

                DHS and State prioritized and, as practicable and 
                appropriate, actively engaged those countries currently 
                subject to travel restrictions in an effort to address 
                and correct any deficiencies. U.S. missions abroad 
                routinely engaged with their host governments, and DHS 
                and State engaged with the pertinent foreign embassies 
                in Washington, D.C. When a foreign government expressed 
                interest in cooperating with the United States to 
                address deficiencies, such discussions were 
                supplemented by high-level meetings with appropriate 
                U.S. officials and subject-matter experts. Through this 
                process, for example, DHS and State organized a site 
                visit to the Republic of Chad (Chad) in December 2017 
                to discuss specific deficiencies and potential remedies 
                with relevant officials. Additionally, DHS met with the 
                Libyan Foreign Minister to discuss Libya's ongoing 
                efforts to comply with the baseline.

                Based on the information collected, DHS evaluated 
                whether each country in the world is meeting the 
                baseline criteria. If the information indicated a 
                potential change in a country's performance, but the 
                information was not sufficiently concrete, that 
                country's compliance status was not adjusted. In such 
                instances, DHS and State have treated such indicators 
                as the basis for further evaluation during the next 
                review period.

                DHS and State also identified certain developments or 
                contextual indicators that would trigger further review 
                of a country's performance to assess whether the 
                country continues to meet information-sharing and 
                identity-management criteria in a manner that mitigates 
                any emerging risk, threat, or vulnerability. The goal 
                of this evaluation was to ensure any recommendation to 
                adjust current travel restrictions, either positively 
                or negatively, would be grounded in articulable 
                information and observations that demonstrate improved 
                or degraded performance.

                The Secretary's review concluded that, while more work 
                must be done, identity-management and information-
                sharing practices are improving globally. Countries 
                have revived partnership negotiations with the United 
                States that were long dormant; improved the fraud-
                deterring aspects of their passports; established new 
                protocols for cooperating with U.S. visa-issuing 
                consulates; and shared information on criminals, known 
                or suspected terrorists, and lost and stolen passports.

                In Proclamation 9645, I imposed entry suspensions and 
                limitations on the nationals of Chad. The Secretary has 
                concluded that Chad has made marked improvements in its 
                identity-management and information-sharing practices. 
                Shortly after I signed the Proclamation, Chad made 
                additional efforts to cooperate with the United States 
                to help it satisfy the baseline. The United States 
                worked closely with Chad to discuss the identity-
                management and information-sharing criteria. This 
                endeavor included U.S. officials engaging with the 
                Government of Chad to understand its domestic 
                operations in

[[Page 15939]]

                significant detail in order to develop advice and 
                guidance on how Chad could satisfy the baseline.

                Chad was receptive to this engagement and has made 
                notable improvements. Specifically, Chad has improved 
                its identity-management practices by taking concrete 
                action to enhance travel document security for its 
                nationals, including taking steps to issue more secure 
                passports and sharing updated passport exemplars to 
                help detect fraud. The Government of Chad also improved 
                handling of lost and stolen passports, the sharing of 
                which helps the United States and other nations prevent 
                the fraudulent use of such documents. Additionally, the 
                United States has confirmed that Chad shares 
                information about known or suspected terrorists in a 
                manner that makes that information available to our 
                screening and vetting programs and has created a new, 
                standardized process for processing requests for 
                relevant criminal information. Chad has proven its 
                commitment to sustaining cooperation with the United 
                States through a regular review and coordination 
                working group. This working group, which has met twice 
                since Proclamation 9645 was issued, allows for regular 
                tracking of the progress summarized above. In sum, Chad 
                has made improvements and now sufficiently meets the 
                baseline. I am therefore terminating the entry 
                restrictions and limitations previously placed on the 
                nationals of Chad.

                The Secretary determined that, despite our engagement 
                efforts, other countries currently subject to entry 
                restrictions and limitations did not make notable or 
                sufficient improvements in their identity-management 
                and information-sharing practices. Though remaining 
                deficient, the State of Libya (Libya) is taking initial 
                steps to improve its practices. DHS and State are 
                currently working with the Government of Libya, which 
                has designated a senior official in its Ministry of 
                Foreign Affairs to serve as a central focal point for 
                working with the United States. DHS and State presented 
                Libya with a list of measures it can implement to 
                rectify its deficiencies, and it has committed to do 
                so. Despite this progress, Libya remains deficient in 
                its performance against the baseline criteria, and the 
                Secretary recommends at this time against removal of 
                the entry restrictions and limitations on that country 
                and the other countries currently subject to them.

                Finally, the Secretary found insufficient information 
                that other countries' performance against the baseline 
                criteria had degraded during the review period. In 
                addition, DHS identified contextual indicators 
                suggesting closer review of a country's practice was 
                warranted in only one instance, and on closer 
                examination, DHS determined that the country's practice 
                did not warrant imposition of additional restrictions 
                or limitations at this time.

                During the interagency consultation and recommendation 
                phase, the Secretary presented to the Secretary of 
                State, the Attorney General, the Director of National 
                Intelligence, and other appropriate heads of agencies a 
                preliminary recommendation that the suspensions and 
                limitations of entry of foreign nationals from Chad be 
                terminated, while the other suspensions and limitations 
                remain unaltered. Following this consultation, the 
                Secretary finalized her recommendations and submitted 
                the report to me.

                I have decided, on the basis of the Secretary's 
                recommendations, to modify Proclamation 9645.

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, by the authority 
                vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of 
                the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) 
                and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States 
                Code, find that the entry into the United States of the 
                nationals of Chad, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants 
                on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist 
                (B-1/B-2) visas, no longer would be detrimental to the 
                interests of the United States, and therefore hereby 
                proclaim the following:

                Section 1. Removal of Restrictions and Limitations on 
                Chad. Section 2 of Proclamation 9645 is amended by 
                striking subsection (a).

[[Page 15940]]

                Sec. 2. Effective Date. This proclamation is effective 
                at 12:01 a.m., eastern daylight time on April 13, 2018.

                Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this 
                proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise 

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or 
the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This proclamation shall be implemented 
                consistent with applicable law and subject to the 
                availability of appropriations.
                    (c) This proclamation is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                tenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the 
                United States of America the two hundred and forty-
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2018-07864
Filed 4-12-18; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3295-F8-P