President Trump’s proclamation expanding the travel ban (often referred to as the “Muslim Ban”) to nationals from Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania into the U.S. goes into effect on February 21, 2020. The travel ban has said to distinctively target predominately Muslim countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, but with the inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea, the ban appears less discriminatory on its face.
What does this new Proclamation mean for U.S immigration? The U.S said it would suspend the issuance of permanent residency visas to nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar, whether they are being sponsored by family or an employer.
Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals will no longer be eligible for the “diversity visa”, which is a lottery-based green card for nationals of countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
On the non-immigrant visas side, visas for temporary stay such as visitor visas and business visitor visas will not be impacted, as well as applicants seeking medical treatment from the U.S.
The most adversely affected country with these new rules are Nigerians, who are the largest group immigrating to the U.S. With the new visa restrictions for Nigerians, there will be thousands of people being separated from their families. Brother, sisters, parents, even spouses who have been waiting abroad for their immigrant visa will now be affected and unable to join their families. Although visa immigration waivers are available, the chances for approval are quite low.
With a legal system promoting civil rights and equality, excluding foreign nationals from entry into the U.S. solely based on their color is discriminatory and unwarranted. Unfortunately, these actions will continue without consequence, as evidenced by the current expansion of the travel ban.