President Donald Trump administration’s decision to impose travel restrictions on citizens of Nigeria and five other nations have nothing to do with racism.
Apart from Nigerians, citizens of Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania are also barred from getting immigrant visas to the US.
The US government said that it decided on the immigrant visa ban on the countries to force their governments to “address security concerns in the way the banned countries track their own citizens, share information with the U.S. and cooperate on immigration matters”.
“These countries — for the most part — want to be helpful, want to do the right thing, [to] have relationships with the U.S. and are in some cases improving relations, but for a variety of different reasons failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out.
“The only way to mitigate the risk is to impose these travel restrictions,” Acting Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf said.
Immigrant visas are issued to those who want to relocate to the US and lead to the issuance of permanent residency.
Unlike the travel ban Trump unveiled in January 2017 shortly after taking office, which banned citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering US territory, the latest directive, which takes effect February 22, was less sweeping.
“We wanted to make sure that these six countries… mitigate the risk,” Wolf told reporters on Friday.
“We want to send a signal that we’re very serious about this but not cripple all of their various visas, so there’s a number of visas they’re still able to use.”
The regular visitor visa for citizens of the affected countries is not expected to be affected.