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Trump explains why Nigeria and other countries are on a travel ban list

Joe Boamah

Jan. 24, 2020

United States President Donald Trump says national security concerns has made the decision of a travel ban list he will soon unveil, an imperative.
The US media reported this week that Nigeria is on Trump’s visa restrictions list alongside Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.
Trump, who won the 2016 presidency on the back of a promise to strengthen US immigration laws and ban Muslims from entering the country, first issued a travel ban order on January 27, 2017, just days after he assumed office.
The order would go on to spark an uproar, with massive protests across the US and chaos at airports where passengers were detained.
The 2017 order suspended travel from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, blocked refugee admissions for 120 days and suspended travel from Syria.
'We have to be safe'
Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump says his latest travel ban list, which is still in the works, puts America first.
“We’re adding a couple of countries to it,” Trump said. “We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what’s going on in the world. Our country has to be safe. So we have a very strong travel ban and we’ll be adding a few countries to it.”
AP reports that five of the countries on the draft list have either Muslim majorities or substantial Muslim minorities.
Trump’s latest restrictions are targeted at countries that fail to share sufficient information with the U.S. or who haven’t taken necessary security precautions, such as issuing electronic passports with biometric information and sharing information about travelers’ terror-related and criminal histories.
Nigeria reacts
US officials say some countries have taken action or demonstrated some level of compliance in order to avoid making the list.
Essentially, countries who have assured the US of better border security, better sharing of identification information among nations and better travel document security, could evade the ban.
The Nigerian presidency says it will only open communication or diplomatic channels with Trump and the US over the list, when the purported policy becomes official.
US President Donald Trump (R) and President Buhari (L) at the White House Rose Garden in 2018 (Nigeria presidency)
“Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the US media,” President Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said.
“We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react."
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