Over the last week, a number of opinions have been expressed about the newly announced expansion of the ‘Trump Travel Ban’, to include Nigeria and six other countries. According to new reports from the US embassy, the new travel ban was already in the works as early as March 2019, nearly a year before it was officially announced and the Nigerian government was well aware of the impending ban and did little to stop it. Now that the ban has been implemented, the Nigerian government has instituted a ‘committee’ to reverse it, which is like trying to feed water to a corpse long after it has died of dehydration.
But that is neither here nor there, the point of this article is that there has been a lot of alarmist misinformation around the newly announced ban. People have speculated that the ban is punishment for Nigeria’s long and checkered history with fraud (it is not) and have suggested that the ban is a side effect of American racism (partly true). But most worrying, is the idea that the travel ban affects all Nigerians, which is partially true but not the entire story. The below tweet shows in explicit what exactly the ban entails.
This is a comprehensive fact-sheet about The Trump Administration’s New Expanded Travel Ban and how it affects Nigerians. pic.twitter.com/1GF5q4ddOD
— Big Odun Energy (@OdunEweniyi) February 1, 2020
In layman terms, the new travel ban primarily affects Nigerians who have short or long term plans to emigrate to the USA. This means anyone who intends to live an extended period of time in America will either find it incredibly hard to apply for and receive a visa. The new ban does not affect citizens who intend to visit America for business or education or just tourism or recreation. Those visas already have some level of difficulty to attaining them, but the new ban will not make it any worse.
The reality is many Nigeria will still request for tourist and short term visa and then default on their return, but it has become harder for Nigerians to legally emigrate to the US. This means even people applying for Green Cards will no longer find it easy to receive one.
This isn’t the first time Nigeria has been banned in this way. The last travel ban on the country by the US was also during a Buhari government. Hopefully, the new committee the government has instituted will be more effective than the Trump government in convincing the US government to reverse the ban.
But we’d advise you to not bet on it.