The Trump administration has added Tanzania, Eritrea, Sudan and Nigeria to the list of nations facing stringent travel restrictions.
With this new move, President Trump has virtually blocked immigration from Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.
Immigrant visas, issued mostly to foreigners intending to live in the United States, will be banned from Nigeria and Eritrea. The ban would prevent immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania from obtaining diversity visas. Homeland Security and State Department officials said some immigrants would be able to obtain waivers from the restrictions.
The proclamation, which President Trump was expected to sign on Friday, will take effect on February 22.
The expansion of the restrictions is likely to hinder thousands of potential immigrants from resettling in the United States or reuniting with their family. The effect on Nigeria, not only Africa’s most populous country but also its largest economy, could be particularly severe.
According to a United States government, Nigeria and Tanzania are facing the consequences because of the number of people who come from the African countries on a visa and end up illegally staying in the United States. According to the official, Sudan and Eritrea had not satisfied the administration’s information-sharing requirements.
In 2018, President Donald Trump reportedly said in an Oval Office discussion that Nigerians in America would never go back to “their huts” once they saw America. And after meeting president Muhammadu Buhari, the Financial Times reported Trump telling his aides he never wanted to meet someone as “lifeless” as the Nigerian President.
According to a 2017 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population. The Nigerian-American population stood at 345,000 in 2017, according to the survey.
Nigerians are entering the medical field in the U.S. at an increased rate, leaving their home country to work in American hospitals, where they (arguably) earn more and work in better facilities. A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building tech companies in America to help people back home.
Evidently, the hard work by Nigerians living in America is also reflected in Nigerians living in other Diaspora. According to the World Bank, in 2018, Nigerians in Diaspora sent back home $25 billion. This ranks Nigeria Diaspora 8thin the world in terms of remitting money to motherland, and second in Africa after Egypt. The Nigeria Diaspora contributes to 6.1% of the Nigerian GDP.