Nigeria is thought to be among a list of nations Donald Trump is considering placing a visa restriction limit on, as he set to expand the number of countries on his controversial travel ban.
Trump is expected to make the announcement on Monday, to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the original order, which targeted several majority-Muslim nations.
Whilst the list has not been finalized, it’s expected to include three other African states – Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea along with other Asian countries such as Myanmar. The administration claimed that the restriction is needed to prevent the potential act of tourism as the listed countries do not have an adequate vetting system.
The travel ban is yet to be passed by the Trump administration, if passed, it will place immigration restrictions on the additional seven countries, but not necessarily a blanket ban on all citizens of those nations from entering the United States. The restrictions could apply only to certain government officials, visitors or business visas.
Nonetheless, any new restrictions are likely to strain ties with the affected countries, some of which assist the U.S. on issues like fighting terrorism, and some of which Washington has been trying to court for strategic reasons.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley
“The travel ban has been profoundly successful in protecting our country and raising the security baseline around the world,” he said. “While there are no new announcements at this time, common sense and national security both dictate that if a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures — because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States.” Trump had earlier on Tuesday confirmed that he is thinking of expanding the ban.
Trump signed the original travel ban on Jan. 27, 2017, just a week into his tenure. The order initially denied visas to citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, though it was later modified as it went through a series of court challenges.
Nigeria is a U.S. counter-terrorism partner and there is a large Nigerian diaspora community in the United States. At the same time, Trump has in the past referred to African nations as “shithole” countries whose citizens he did not want coming to the United States.
He also once said that if Nigerians come to the U.S., they will never “go back to their huts” in Africa, according to The New York Times.