Following his inauguration on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, in his first day in office has lifted the immigrant visa ban imposed on Nigeria by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
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President Biden moved further to direct the State Department to restart visa processing for Nigerians alongside citizens of other countries affected by the ban. Biden’s changes came through an executive order as he seeks to address people affected by Trump’s policies.
Former President John Trump, during his time in power, imposed an immigrant visa ban on citizens of countries torn apart by terrorism for security reasons. Issued first as the Executive Order 13768 of January 25, 2017, court challenges would see it amended numerous times with the final version banning citizens of Libya, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela, North Korea, and Yemen (seven countries) from migrating to the US.
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A fresh proclamation would be signed by President Trump in January 2020 (though not as severe as others), including Nigeria on the US blacklist for immigrants. Under the leadership of Trump, Nigerians were permitted to visit the US, but not allowed to settle permanently in the nation described by Biden “as country of immigrants”.
Former Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, while addressing Trump’s travel ban on Nigeria and other countries noted that it was meant 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”. However, President Biden thinks otherwise as barely 24 hours in office, he has reversed the travel restrictions put in place by Trump, emphasizing that “immigrants have helped strengthen America’s families, communities, businesses and workforce, and economy, infusing the United States with creativity, energy, and ingenuity.”
The Cable NG
Featured Image Source: National Accord Newspaper
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