Trump Administration Considers Adding Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania To Travel Ban
Photo Credit: Unsplash | Ovinuchi Ejiohuo

Photo Credit: Unsplash | Ovinuchi Ejiohuo

Trump Administration Considers Adding Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania To Travel Ban

Africa , Eritrea , Nigeria , Sudan , Tanzania , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Jan 23, 2020

Three years after issuing a controversial ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, the Trump administration is planning to expand the ban to four additional African countries, including Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Eritrea. 

Trump confirmed that he is trying to add additional nations to the travel ban during an interview with The Wall Street Journal but declined to list the countries. 

A draft being considered by the Trump administration would place immigration restrictions on seven countries in total but wouldn’t necessarily completely ban all citizens of those nations from entering the United States.

For instance, the restrictions could apply only to certain government officials or issue shorter-term visas.

Why now?

While officials from the White House have not confirmed which countries would be a part of that ban, there is some speculation on at least two of the countries.

Nigeria has been faced with scrutiny from the current administration as the country accounts for the third-highest number of US visa overstays. As a result, the Trump administration has become tougher on Africa’s largest economy.

After suspending its visa interview waiver indefinitely for Nigerian applicants (the waiver allowed frequent travelers to renew their visa without going through in-person interviews each time), the US also raised visa fees by including additional “reciprocity fees” ranging from $80 to $303, as reported in Quartz.

Sudan was one of the Muslim-majority countries initially named in the controversial Jan. 2017 travel ban but was eventually removed following legal disputes in federal court.

The White House Responds

White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, declined to confirm any details about plans to expand the travel ban but defended the original order in a statement to Politico:

“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.”