Trump Considers Extending Travel Ban To 4 African Countries Including Nigeria
U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to expand his controversial travel ban to include seven more countries including four from Africa.
Anonymous officials in the Trump administration have revealed that the seven countries being considered for the expanded travel ban are Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar, Politico reported.
The presence of Nigeria in the list is a surprise as the West African country is a U.S. counter-terrorism partner and there is a large Nigerian diaspora community in the U.S. that stood at around 376,000 in 2015.
Nigeria is also the U.S.’s second-largest African trading partner after South Africa. The U.S. exported $2.7 billion worth of goods to Nigeria and imported $5.6 billion worth of U.S. goods in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. trade representative.
Trump signed the original travel ban on Jan. 27, 2017, just a week into his presidency. The order initially denied visas to citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries. It was later changed as it was met with a series of court challenges.
The U.S. Supreme Court eventually approved a modified order that restricts entry of some citizens from Libya, Somalia, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea.
The Trump administration is now considering an expansion that would see immigration restrictions placed on African countries with significant Muslim populations — Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan and Tanzania.
Trump confirmed that he was reviewing the travel ban and planned to expand it to additional countries during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The proposed restrictions will not necessarily ban all citizens of those countries from entering the U.S. The restrictions could apply only to certain government officials, for instance, or certain types of visas, The New York Times reports.
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Trump is seeking re-election as president in November and has made immigration restrictions a major focus of his 2020 campaign.
A revised travel ban targeting additional countries is expected to appeal to Republican voters and contrast with the majority of Democratic candidates, according to Reuters.