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US visa rules create panic among immigrants

A proclamation signed last month which came into effect this friday, has created a havoc among immigrants. US President donald trump announced typical visa restrictions for “those countries failed to meet minimum security standards”.

Recently he banned travelling of immigrants from 6 countries with majority of muslim population including African countries such as Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan and Tanzania.
The countries 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.

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.

Calls about the restrictions have flooded legal advocacy groups and lawyers’ offices. A Boston-area Burmese church is trying to intervene to help congregants.

The United African Organization has held legal clinics in Chicago to walk people through their options.

The rules are certain to face legal challenges. Meanwhile, activists have organised around #MuslimBan and #AfricaBan on social media and ramped up lobbying efforts to press Congress to pass the ‘No Ban Act’, which would limit the president’s ability to restrict entry to the US.

Strongest emotions have been felt among America’s roughly 3,80,000 Nigerian immigrants and their children.
They are one of the most educated immigrant groups. More than 60 percent of people with Nigerian ancestry who are at least 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is more than twice the general US population rate of 29 percent, according to 2017 census data.

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Aastha Kochar

Aastha Kochar

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