It was recently announced that President Donald Trump and his administration plans to add new countries to the travel ban list. President Trump infamously instituted a travel ban on 7 Muslim majority countries just one week into the beginning of his presidency.
Among the countries being considered are Belarus,Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and four African nations, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Nigeria happens to be Africa’s most populous and technologically advanced country. According to the Wall Street Journal, the restrictions wouldn’t be on outright traveling to the US, but restrictions on people attaining certain kinds of visas such as business and visitor visas.
The new countries in consideration are reportedly in contention due to reports that people from these countries overstay their visas. One possible reason for Nigeria’s possible inclusion is the safety of Christians.
President Trump was quite inquisitive of Nigerian president Muhammed Buhari on how he would ensure the safety of Nigerian Christians when Buhari made a visit to the White House in April 2018.
As President Trump’s base is predominantly of the white conservative Christian background, it shines brighter light on his likely motives.
Throughout Trump’s political career, immigration has been one of the driving forces of his campaign.
It had mostly been Muslim and Latino immigrants at the expense of Trump’s heavy xenophobic rhetoric, but the Trump administration’s recent focus on African countries raises concern that a new group of immigrants are now a target.
There had been instances of racist comments by the President regarding African countries throughout his first term, such as referring to Haiti, El Salvador and Nigeria as “sh*thole countries.”
The recent US Census indicates African immigration is on the rise, with Nigerians making up the majority of the group.
With many Nigerians having various business interests within the United States, a travel ban can spell serious both economical and social issues, and could spell the beginning of a major strain in the relationship between the United States and African nations.
With the ongoing impeachment trial, the Iran situation and the election at the end of this year, Trump’s targeting of African immigrants may be his final play to reinvigorate his base and secure reelection.
Written by Ubong Ekpo