President Donald Trump would, later this month, impose travel restrictions on seven countries which include Nigeria, a report said Wednesday.
The seven countries that reportedly made the fresh list are Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Tanzania and Sudan, according to the Wall Street Journal which cited administration officials who have seen the list.
Mr Trump confirmed in Davos on Tuesday that his government would soon announce details of the controversial ban that would make it difficult for citizens of these countries to obtain American visa.
The type and scope of restrictions that would be imposed would be tailored to individual countries, depending on how U.S. officials evaluate a country’s compliance with its economic and security interests.
For instance, reports already suggested that only some categories of visas may be affected rather than a blanket ban in some countries — although this has not been officially disclosed and the entire guidelines may be amended repeatedly before a final rollout by month’s end.
The new policy would be an update to the initial list of countries that Mr Trump imposed travel restrictions on shortly after assuming office in 2017.
Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and North Korea were slammed with visa restrictions in a controversial move that sparked lawsuits in the U.S.
Although the administration lost at lower courts, the Supreme Court eventually upheld the president’s power to restrict entrance of other nationals into the U.S.
Chad, initially on the list of countries that were banned in the March 2017 policy, was taken off in April 2019 after American officials said it had met conditions to share useful information for vetting foreigners.
Mr Trump has taken steps to curb immigration into the U.S. since assuming office in January 2017. He campaigned on a plan to build walls across the southern border to block illegal crossing from Mexico. Construction of walls along the vast border has since commenced.
In December 2017, the U.S. president decried the reluctance of Nigerians and other nationals to return to their countries whenever they visit the U.S.
Nigerians, he said, would never “go back to their huts” in Africa once they step into the U.S., the New York Times reported at the time.
The Nigerian presidency has refused to react to the latest reports, saying it would await an official stance by the Trump administration before responding.
“Yes we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
“We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications and its consequences before we react.”