US President Trump on Friday added six countries to his list of nations facing travel restrictions, blocking immigration from Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, and from Myanmar, where the Muslim minority is fleeing genocide.
The move was slammed by immigrant advocates and critics. The policy was called to discriminate against Muslims and others communities.
Besides Nigeria, three more African countries namely Eritrea, Sudan and Tanzania, will face varying degrees of restrictions, along with a former Soviet state, Kyrgyzstan. Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar may also be caught in the crossfire.
The total number of countries on the restricted travel list goes up to 13 now. The six recently banned countries have a substantial Muslim population.
The immigrants wishing to move from Sudan and Tanzania to US through the diversity visa lottery will also be affected.
The proclamation will come into effect on February 22.
Those obtaining visas before then will still be able to migrate to US, as per officials.
Non-immigrant visas, which are generally issued to students and temporary workers will remain unaffected.
Immigrants will be able to apply for waivers from the restrictions. The admi’Waivers are issued to those who would experience undue hardship if denied entry into the United States’ said the administration. However, the process has been criticized as opaque.
The administration argued that the ban, enacted in 2017 to restrict travel from Muslim-majority countries was necessary to ensure that countries satisfy security requirements for travel into the United States, or face restrictions until they do.