U.S. President Donald Trump issued an expanded version of his travel ban on Friday that targets prospective immigrants from Nigeria and five other countries, a move that could affect thousands of people and reignite debate on whether the policy is discriminatory.
Of the six countries added to the ban, four are African nations and three have Muslim-majority populations. Democrats and immigration advocates accuse the Trump administration of seeking to expand its original 2017 ban that targeted Muslim-majority countries and of disproportionately focusing on African countries.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said during a call with reporters that the six countries failed to meet U.S. security and information-sharing standards, which necessitated the new restrictions. The problems Wolf cited ranged from sub-par passport technology to a failure to sufficiently exchange information on terrorism suspects and criminals.
Belarus, which had been under consideration for inclusion, took steps to remedy deficiencies in recent months and will not face visa restrictions, Wolf said.
The United States will suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria, a presidential proclamation said. Temporary visas for tourists, businesspeople, students and workers from those nations will not be affected, it said.
The U.S. government also will stop issuing “diversity visas” to nationals of Sudan and Tanzania, the proclamation said. The visas, which Trump has criticized, are available by lottery for applicants from countries with low rates of immigration.
“These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful,” Wolf said, “but for a variety of different reasons simply failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out.”
The original travel ban barred nearly all immigrants and travelers from seven countries with majority Muslim populations. The policy was revised amid court challenges, but the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld it in June 2018.
Trump has made cracking down on immigration a focus of his 2020 re-election campaign. His travel ban policy is popular with Republican supporters.
The existing version of the ban includes Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. North Korea and Venezuela also face visa bars, but those measures affect relatively few travelers. Those restrictions will remain in place.
The new travel ban will take effect on Feb. 21, according to the proclamation.
MOST VISAS FROM NIGERIA
U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Colorado and son of Eritrean refugees, said the updated ban unfairly singled out allied African nations.
“It is un-American to discriminate against immigrants solely because of where they come from or how they pray,” Neguse told reporters.
In 2015, when he was running for president, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Three nations included in the updated ban - Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and Sudan - have majority Muslim populations. Eritrea and Tanzania have sizable Muslim minorities.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the ban, calling it “discrimination disguised as policy.” She said the Democrats would introduce legislation barring religious discrimination in the U.S. immigration system within a few weeks.
Nigeria sends the most immigrants to the United States. The U.S. State Department issued approximately 7,900 immigrant visas to Nigerians in fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1, 2017.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, said he was “disappointed” by the decision. The U.S. State Department will host meetings in Washington on Monday and Tuesday with Onyeama, other officials and business leaders.
The administration said the new ban was narrowly tailored.
Investor visas, which lead to permanent residence, will also be barred. But the restrictions will not apply to skilled foreign workers entering the United States on H-1B visas, according to a DHS official who briefed reporters. Such visas are temporary, but can lead to permanent residence.
Immigrants already in the United States, or who have approved visas will be exempt from the ban, the official said. People with pending visa requests, some of whom have waited years, will be barred.
All applicants will be able to apply for a waiver, a process already in place under Trump’s existing ban. But a federal lawsuit challenging the administration says the waiver process is opaque and difficult to navigate.
The visa restrictions will not apply to refugees, according to the official. Trump’s administration has separately capped the number of refugees allowed into the United States at 18,000 for the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest level in decades.
President Trump's expanded travel ban targets Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar
Are these activist judges going to shut this down again or will we be allowed to have a country with basic immigration and travel rules?
Don’t think there is much they can do. SCOTUS already ruled and the original countries on the list are still banned.
This just adds more countries to the list.
I’d like to see every single South American and Central American country added to the list. Those countries are the biggest source of our legal and illegal immigration problems. Have the governed - the American citizens - consented to the current state of legal and illegal immigration in the US? Do the current immigration policies and enforcement practices affect the safety and happiness of the people? Of course we haven’t and until we do it ALL should grind to a halt.
The consent of the governed…something our politicians have forgotten about long ago. Now, the left portrays the immigrant (legal or not) as universally more virtuous than the citizen.
Pelosi and Posse are out to circumvent the Judicial system (a separate branch of out government) by passing legislation to make it illegal to implement what the SCOTUS has already deemed constitutional.
Another bill that will waste tax dollars to fight in the courts.There is no end to the Leftist Dems to establish a Legislative TOTALITARIAN dictatorship.
That will never pass the Senate but why don’t they just go ahead and waste them more time and money.
They are a bunch of morons. The argument for the travel ban is pretty simple :
The targeted countries are literally failed states that can’t confirm or deny the identity of the person presenting themselves at our border.
Anyone coming from those places must be treated as a potential security risk and denied entry at least until they can be properly vetted.
Even if they have no direct affiliation with a terrorist organization, an illiterate Somali thug is not equipped to succeed in the western world and will amount to nothing but additional problems to manage, he’d be much better off in another Muslim country.
There is no way that anyone can possibly rationalize these clearly racist policies. Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives are doing the right thing to try to get legislation passed to put this insanity to an end. Of course, if the Senate were actually unbiased and willing to do their job they would pass the legislation that the House is working on in a heartbeat. Of course we know that we’ll never happen because they are just there to prop up the racist policies of the Trump administration.
Do you understand the concept of a state? Perhaps we should start with the fact that even the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, ONLY says people have the right to travel within their OWN countries and to return home to their OWN countries.
Nobody has the right to go into any other country that is not their own. The UN even says the USA is the easiest country in the world to immigrate into. We give out 1 million green card visas (permission to visit) each year for criteria and another 250k in a lottery where no criteria is needed. This is easier than anywhere else.
The permission to visit is an important concept, and one that all nations have shared up until Trump got elected when large groups of people suddenly went crazy thinking people have the right to come and go without permission. This is “let them break the laws!”
A state, under historical and current world treaties has always had the right to say who gets to visit inside it. This isn’t new. If someone entered without permission, that person could imprisoned or even executed or sent back home (USA just sends them back home). If a group comes in without permission that’s an invasion.
You didn’t take ANY history at all in schoo, did youl? It’s a shock, but you really may not know that a country’s laws, rights and freedoms are for its OWN citizens. Like, the USA rights, laws and freedoms are for American citizens. French rights, laws and freedoms are for citizens of France. Syria rights laws and (freedoms) are for citizens of Syria. They aren’t interchangeable, and it does all depend upon legally where you are born. Like you get the driver’s license for your state, not an Alaska driver’s license just because you like the way it looks.
You may indeed want rip out all the world’s borders. But understand that there has NEVER before been a 1-world government before. Ever. The closest we’ve gotten are the big empires. And they didn’t work because (same reason Empire in Star Wars was undesireable).
Wow. And to think, the generation coming in behind her is the squad.
I highly doubt if a person unknown to you wanted to enter your home, you’d let them in.
The concept of keeping Americans safe isn’t about racist policies. Your argument should be with the governments who cannot or will not comply with the rules required to enter this country.
…and if conservatives do not band together and defeat the liberal candidates in every state, a Bernie-like, socialist will eventually become our President and the liberals will have majorities in both Houses of Congress.
Thereafter, our Democratic Republic will be bludgeoned to death.
But don’t you see? These illiterate, jobless, welfare-seeking people represent VOTES for the liberals. That overrides any flaws they may have, including that of being a terrorist.
President Trump’s revised travel ban (which didn’t include the largest state sponsor of RIT; KSA) is just as ineffective as his b̶o̶r̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶a̶l̶l̶ bollard fence which can be cut through with hand tools and blows over during high winds.
There’s an argument to be made for dramatically cutting legal immigration until we can secure the borders and beef up both internal enforcement and expedited due process but there’s no way we could ever shut it down completely, “The People” simply would not allow it.
It cant’ be cut through with simple handtools and the only part that the wind screwed up was a section under construction right at the end where the bollards had been erected but the foundations and footings had yet to be poured. It tool a few hours to stand them back up plumb but it was nothing but a minor inconvenience.
We cant’ build an impenetrable wall and that’s not the goal, just a significant deterrent that slows the flow dramatically and gives the BP time to react and interdict those who still try.
Nothing “racist” about it, find a new meme.
I love when this gets thrown around. Why “can’t” we build an impenetrable wall? Are you suggesting that it’s impossible because it has been done elsewhere at our expense.