President Donald Trump has signed an order to further impose travel restrictions on a new group of six countries.
The ban which comes into force late February this year, affects Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgystan, Sudan Tanzania and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, Senior US government officials say, it is an extension of the existing ban.
“The US government, under the ban, issues no visas for travellers from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Nigeria seeking permanent residency in the US,” the officials said.
Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals are barred from the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery under the new restrictions, but can still apply for ‘Other Immigrant visa,’ being an alternative to the DV.
The senior US officials cited national security concerns as the main factor that dictated the extension of the travel ban.
“The countries listed failed to meet U.S. standards for information sharing and document verification,” the US officials also said.
The US officials estimate that the travel ban could impact as many as 13,000 prospective immigrants based on visa admission numbers from 2018.
Jeff Gorsky the former Chief Legal Adviser in the State Department Visa Office seems dissatisfied with the US travel restrictions.
To him, the restrictions are more of an excuse to advance the policy priorities of the Trump administration.
“It seems more of an excuse to come out with something that looks strong. It is about advancing the policy priorities of the Trump administration,” said Jeff Gorsky, former chief legal adviser in the State Department.
Similarly, Advocates for immigrants and refugees have also reacted immediately condemning the new restrictions.
“No reasonable, national security or immigration control justification for this policy exists, rather, it is bald-faced and unapologetic bigotry,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, an immigrant rights advocacy organization.
“Designated refugees, students visa holders, and those traveling for temporary business are exempt from the restrictions,” administration officials said.
Trump told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, last week that plans to roll out the new restrictions were already underway.
“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.”
When Trump originally announced the travel ban in the first year of his presidency, the order was met with chaos and controversy.
Protests erupted at airports across the country as immigration authorities attempted to implement the travel ban by stopping travellers at airports across the country.
As the ban was about to be enforced, President Trump’s action has been challenged in courts by civil rights groups.
The legal challenges resulted in modifications from the Trump administration which limited the impact and scope of the ban.
Prominent among the challengers of President’s travel ban, is the Omar Jadwat of the ACLU, an institution that has been contesting the travel restrictions since 2017.
“The ban should be ended, not expanded. President Trump is doubling down on his signature of anti-Muslim policy,” Jadwat said.
The ACLU anti-travel ban campaigner is of the strong conviction that President Trump is racist.
“The ban is a way of putting more of his prejudices into practice by excluding more communities of colour,” Jadwat alleged. “Families, universities, and businesses in the US are paying an ever-higher price for President Trump’s ignorance and racism,” he maintained.
The hearings conducted in respect of the travel ban by the highest court in the US, the Supreme Court authorized a modified version of Trump’s original travel ban in a June 2018 decision.
However, the ruling resulted visa restrictions for seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
The move by Trump to ban citizens from some muslim and African states has been at the core of his manifesto during the 2016 presidential elections.
The travel ban has a close linkage with the threats of terrorism that hangs over the US. Threats of terrorism became more potent following the aftermath of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively by former President Bush.
The twin invasions led to the overthrow of the Taliban and the Saddam regimes in the two countries.
The US invasion of Iraq, in particular, could be traced back to the terrorist raid on the Twin Towers (the World Trade Centre) in Newyork in September, 2001.
The Al-qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, controversially believed to have been gunned down in Pakistan, became prime suspect for the US.
The bombing raid on the World Trade Centre was seen highly provocative for which former President Bush threatened to engage the middle east with Military strikes to end terrorism.
In the prosecution of his war on terror, he solicited and endorsed the cooperation of his strategic ally-Britain.
Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair who shared similar ideologies with President Bush saw terrorism as a mass evil that should be wiped out.
The Bush and Blair military aggression in Iraq was widely viewed illegal as it failed to follow the conventional procedure of contemporary warfare.
The former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan was quite critical of the Iraq invasion from its inception owing to lack of military justification.
The UN Scribe was averse to the coalition war because the allegation of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction by the Iraq government was a frailty.
After the wars in the two Middle Eastern countries, former British Prime Minister was humbled in a commission of Inquiry and former President Bush was threatened with a court action, the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands.
The COI, at the end of the investigation, questioned Blair’s judgement to join the Bush War Coalition against Iraq.
Alqaeda has faded away, but Islamic States (IS’s) has sprung. The IS’s seem determined to hit back at the US at close range.
The North Korean and Iranian threats of warfare at the US is clear. Testing of missiles by the former and the enrichment of Uranium by the latter is common place although, it says, the enrichment is for peaceful purpose.
The war threats by the Middle Eastern countries have placed the US in a pensive mood and paranoic frenzy although the US says, it takes pride in the most respected intelligence agency in the world.
Most Middle Eastern and African countries believe that their countries are always torn apart during turns of a genealogy of US Presidents.
Former President Barrack Obama, despite claims of African descent is no difference.
The former President bore a hand in the Libyan Uprising in 2013 that resulted in to the overthrow and death Muammar Gaddafi.
The movement, known as the Arab Spring, started in Tunisia and spilled over to Egypt. It also led to the toppling of Presidents Ben Ali and Husni Mubarak respectively.
These incidents have rendered the world unsafe as terrorists are ready to unleash violence not only in the US, but in US embassies all over the world.
The rise of Trump as US President means renewed effort for the campaign against terror. The campaign is partly responsible for the travel ban on most middle Eastern and African countries.
However, incidents of human trafficking as the 2019 State Department report reveals and the desire to revamp the US economy cannot be ruled out.
Trump always says: “America first.”