In January of 2020, Trump added new countries to his U.S. visa travel ban. This move will virtually block immigration from Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. It will also block immigration from Myanmar, where Muslims are fleeing genocide. Additional countries include three more African countries: Eritrea, Sudan, and Tanzania. In addition, the former soviet state Kyrgyzstan has been added to the ban.
All of the banned countries have substantial Muslim populations. Immigrant visas will be banned for those in Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan. Immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania will not be allowed to participate in the diversity lottery, which issues green cards to 50,000 people each year.
The latest travel ban took effect on February 22, 2020. Immigrants obtaining visas before then will still be able to come to the United States. Nonimmigrant visas, including those for temporary employees and employees with specialized skills, will not be affected by the ban. In addition, some immigrants will be able to apply for waivers.
While the administration has argued that the ban is necessary to ensure countries satisfy security requirements, this widespread ban will affect thousands of immigrants and prevent many of them from reuniting with their families or finding work. Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with its largest economy, will be greatly affected. In the fiscal year 2018, the United States issued 7,920 immigrant visas to Nigerians. Nigeria has a history of working with the United States to combat terrorism, and Nigerian officials were not advised of the ban.
It’s no surprise that the ban has come during a year when Trump is facing reelection. A travel ban will be used by Trump to rally his base. In addition, Trump has been touting his cap on refugees from 30,000 to 18,000. Democrats have condemned the expansion. The House of Representatives is expected to discuss legislation ending the ban.
If you’re interested in learning more about the immigration process, you should contact an experienced immigration lawyer. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.