At the end of January, the Trump administration announced that it would be making an expansion to its current travel ban, to now include six more countries.
According to the new ruling, nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar will now face travel restrictions and, while they will still be eligible for short visits, will be blocked from applying for some more permanent visas.
The President first issued a travel ban in 2017, which prevented citizens from seven other countries, most of which have Muslim majorities. As a result, the ban has come to be dubbed by many as the ‘Muslim ban’, with critics linking the policy to xenophobic mentalities.
And this is not unfounded. In 2015, during Trump’s election campaign, he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. For many, the travel ban is a means of achieving this promise and is just one of many anti-Muslim policies and practices that have been enforced by the White House since Trump’s presidency.
According to this latest update, the US is going to suspend the issue of any visas that lead to permanent residency for citizens in Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. Meanwhile, citizens of Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be eligible for “diversity visas”.
…the ban has come to be dubbed by many as the ‘Muslim ban’, with critics linking the policy to xenophobic mentalities
Out of each of the newly added countries, Nigeria has historically been responsible for most of the US’ immigration. In 2018, the US government reportedly issued 8,018 immigrant visas to Nigerians in the 2018 fiscal year.
All of the new countries have at least a 50% Muslim population, with Kyrgyzstan and Sudan having large Muslim majorities.
[Trump] called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. For many, the travel ban is a means of achieving this promise.
Trump’s ongoing travel ban has caused controversy since it was first implemented; it currently prevents non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea.
In exceptional circumstances, applications for both types of visas are allowed from these countries. These include students and those with “significant contacts” in the USA.