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  • News: Maintaining Enhanced Vetting Capabilities And Processes For Detecting Attempted Entry Into The United States By Terrorists Or Other Public-safety Threats

    [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
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