Trump Extends Travel Ban To Quarter of African Continent
By Alice Hudson
Donald Trump has extended his travel ban to a further 6, mostly African, countries restricting the rights of ¼ of the African continent’s population to travel and move to America.
1. What is President Trump’s so-called ‘travel ban’?
In January 2017 Trump enacted a travel ban on citizens from 7 countries with predominantly Muslim citizens, leading the ban to be called a ‘Muslim Ban’. Last week he extended this to 6 further countries, stopping their travel to the United States.
2. Why has this ban been put in place?
The original ban was declared to be a temporary measure in order to assess the dangers posed by immigration to America, but has been extended 3 years later without any evidence of a strategic approach being closer. The American government stated in 2017 that the ban was necessary due to the countries affected not sharing enough information with the US, thus making their citizens unable to be adequately vetted upon travel. Last week, this approach was reaffirmed, and the extended ban was stated imperative for national security.
3. Who does it affect?
The original ban restricted citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea from immigrating to America. This new ban of 2020 will affect nationals of Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Sudan, and subsequently their families.
4. What does it mean for these people?
Despite still being allowed to travel for business, tourism or study, citizens of Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan are out rightly banned from immigrating to the US. Whereas those from Tanzania and Sudan are no longer allowed to apply for a ‘diversity visa’, commonly known as the green card lottery. Those currently holding a visa are expected to remain unaffected, and will be allowed to remain in the US. However, those on visa waiting lists are unlikely to be approved, and it will mean that many families will be separated. Citizens from these countries with an American spouse will be refused a visa to live with their partner.
5. What is being done about it?
The NO BAN act (National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act) was introduced to Congress in 2019. It calls to impose limitations on the power of the President to restrict immigration of whole countries and religions, to the extent at which he is currently able to. The bill calls for future restrictions to require specific evidence before imposing restrictions of the magnitude Trump currently is. The ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union – is rejecting the travel ban, and supporting the NO BAN act in Congress. The group protested the original ban 3 times before it was passed by the Supreme Court, and they intend to continue to reject the ban as it is merely a perpetuation of Trump’s racist ideologies.
The Association for Credible Leadership in Nigeria (ACLN) has spoken out against the ban initiating a change.org petition, mainly concerned about the impending impact on families. Many Nigerians have expressed shock, feeling that America has betrayed them after being an ally to Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, as well as their largest trading partner.
Congressman Joe Neguse – the first Eritrean-American to serve in US Congress – has spoken fervently against the ban: “The President’s reckless ban on African countries does not align with our American values or the promise that our country has offered to immigrants and refugees for centuries, and is yet another example of this administration’s haphazard and xenophobic immigration policy.”
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