Trump has officially restricted immigration from Nigeria and five other countries in an expansion of the U.S.’s existing travel ban.
Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas. Although, the expanded travel ban will still allow for people from those countries to visit the U.S. as tourists.
According to a Vox report, no country has more to lose than Nigeria and Nigerian officials have even formed a committee to address the issue.
In 2018, the U.S. issued twice as many immigration visas to Nigeria than to the other five nations combined, according to BBC. Starting February 22nd, Nigerians will no longer be able to obtain visas allowing them to immigrate to the US permanently.
Nigerians can still travel to the US on temporary visas, such as those for foreign workers, tourists, and students. But for the large Nigerian diaspora back in the states, the policy could hurt their family and cultural ties to their home country.
A U.S. official said the new measures were the result of failures by the six countries listed to meet US security and information-sharing standards.
“These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful but for a variety of different reasons simply failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters on Friday.
Trump’s travel ban was initially introduced back in 2017 and closed the U.S. borders to seven. countries that nearly all have Muslim majorities.
Trump signed the expansion to the controversial travel ban on Friday.