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FG advises Nigerians to defer non-essential trips to United States


Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Trump issues revised travel ban for six countries

Nigerians intending to make non-essential trips to the United States of America (USA) have been advised to shelve such plans, pending clarification on the new immigration policy of the Donald Trump administration.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, “advised Nigerians who have no compelling or urgent reason to travel to the U.S. to postpone their travel plans until the new administration’s policy on immigration is clear.

“In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria.

“In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.”

Dabiri –Erewa said “no reasons were given for the decision by the U.S. immigration authorities.”She reminded Nigerians in the U.S. to abide by the rules and regulations of their host country.Phone calls made to the American Embassy in Lagos did not elicit a reaction yesterday.

On ascending the presidency, Trump had made it clear that his government would no longer tolerate the influx of illegal immigrants into the country, especially those who are perceived to be asylum seekers from Third World countries. Just as it would deport the more than 11 million people resident in the U.S. without proper documentation.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump took a second swing at his temporary travel ban yesterday, this time targeting travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and crafting his executive order in ways intended to survive challenges in United States (U.S.) courts.

The new ban, which goes into effect March 16, no longer restricts travel from Iraq, one of seven listed in the original order. The 90-day ban now is limited to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

As before, the order shuts down the U.S. refugee programme for 120 days to give the Federal Government time to develop “extreme vetting” procedures to prevent terrorists from entering the country. However, Syrians are no longer subject to an indefinite ban, as they were under the first order, USA Today said.

The White House spent weeks drafting the revised ban, coordinating with the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security to avoid the chaos that followed the January 27 order. That one took immediate effect, snarling travel for thousands of people around the world and at U.S. airports.

This time, the order takes effect 10 days after Trump signed it at the White House in private, in contrast to a signing ceremony at the Pentagon on January 27.

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Abike Dabiri-Erewa

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