United States’ President Donald Trump has finally issued the much anticipated directive to restrict immigration from six additional countries.
The administration official said the new policy was designed to tighten security for countries that do not comply with the U.S. minimum security standard or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.
Here are 15 things to know about the visa restriction
1. The six nations affected Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania will face tailored restrictions when the new rules come into effect on February 22.
2. The new rules will still allow certain visits to the U.S., notably those for non-immigration purposes.
3. The restrictions are largely focused on immigration visas that can lead to the ability to settle permanently in the U.S., (read Green Card) and not on visits for familiar purposes or for business, in most cases.
4. The rules are being imposed ahead of elections later this year and come three years after Trump slapped a travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations, sparking an uproar.
5. The ban, which was modified, was later upheld by a court ruling.
6. The problems facing the six countries to be hit with restrictions largely stem from deficiencies in sharing intelligence with the U.S. and Interpol, in addition to technological issues pertaining to passports and databases, the officials said.
7. Officials said the nations could make moves to improve their status and be removed from the visa restriction
8. Indeed, Belarus, that nearly ended up on the list was able to improve its systems in advance of the new directive and sidestep the restrictions, the officials said.
10. Trump has made restricting immigration, particularly from Muslim and poorer countries, a cornerstone of his policy as president.
11. When he launched his campaign for the White House in 2015, Trump called for a shutdown of all Muslim migration to the U.S.
12. According to Washington Post, of the six new countries affected by the restriction, Nigeria has the largest number of immigrants in the United States — about 300,000, not counting their U.S.-born children — with many in Texas, Maryland and New York.
13. Nigerians also accounted for one of the largest groups of visa overstays in 2018, according to DHS.
14. The newspaper also reports that the ban is expected to disrupt millions of dollars of business deals, as well as freeze a robust flow of Nigerian students to the United States that, according to the Commerce Department, contributed approximately $514 million to the U.S. economy in the past academic year.
15. The number of Nigerian travelers to the United States already dropped 20 percent last year after the U.S. government ended a frequent-traveler program and increased entry fees.