On Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation officially lifting the travel ban that had been in place for most of the past three years.
The ban, originally passed in January 2017, had barred visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States. A federal judge blocked parts of the travel ban in May of that year, but the judge was overturned by a higher court.
While the ban is now lifted, this wasn’t always the case. Most travelers have been able to enter the country since May 17, 2017, when the ban was enjoined by the fourth circuit U.S. court of appeals. The remaining six countries will remain off-limits to most U.S. citizens for now as the administration completes a 180-day review process.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the lifting of the ban was based on “some clear and present danger to the security of the United States.”
“The President found that at least some of the six countries currently included in the travel ban posed significant threats to the United States that could not be addressed by any temporary suspension of entry,” he said.
Tillerson added that those individuals traveling to the U.S. from the countries listed in the president’s proclamation do not need to apply for a visa and that travelers from those countries who have already been granted visas would be exempt from the ban.