Eniola Akinkuotu with agency reports
United States President Joe Biden signed some decrees lifting the immigrant visa ban imposed on Nigerians by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
According to a report by BloombergBiden also rescinded the systemic ban on citizens of Muslim-dominated countries like Yemen.
Trump had last February imposed an immigrant visa ban on Nigeria, citing the lack of a solid database in Nigeria. US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary-Beth Leonard said at the time that Nigeria needs to improve its data intelligence to facilitate the investigation of its citizens wishing to migrate to the United States if it wants the ban be lifted.
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The Nigerian government subsequently set up a Committee on the Management and Harmonization of Citizen Data, to deal with complaints from the United States, which has led to recent pressure for all Nigerians to register with the United States. the National Identity Management Commission and obtain a national identity number.
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With Biden’s cancellation of Trump’s order, Nigerians will now be able to apply for green cards.
The Bloomberg report reads in part: “The ban that Biden ended has blocked the entry of most people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and North Korea . It also restricted immigrant visas for people from Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Eritrea as well as some others from Venezuela and Tanzania. ”
Biden began reversing Trump’s immigration policies on Wednesday, as part of an aggressive push to roll back some of his predecessor’s most controversial actions and chart a new course for the nation.
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In one of his first acts as president, Biden signed an executive action ending restrictions on travel and immigration from some predominantly Muslim countries. The measure directs the State Department to resume visa processing for those countries and develop a plan to reach out to those affected, such as those who have been denied entry into the United States.
The action also orders a review of other ‘extreme screening’ practices used by the Trump administration, while calling on the United States to improve information sharing with foreign governments to strengthen the screening of travelers. .
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Biden is also proposing a sweeping immigration bill that would pave the way for citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday evening that the president had sent the text of his proposal to Congress.
The legislation marks a stark contrast to the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict both legal and illegal immigration during his four years in office.
The new president issued a proclamation ordering a halt to construction of Trump’s wall along the border with Mexico. It reverses the national emergency that Trump declared to secure funding for the wall.
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The travel ban and border wall were the fulfillment of Trump’s central campaign promises in 2016, to clamp down on immigration and limit the number of Muslims coming to the United States. Biden condemned them as an attack on racial and religious minorities.
Just a week after taking office, Trump announced he would suspend the entry of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. The policy has also suspended the resettlement of refugees. Federal judges blocked the application of the first version of the ban. A third version was put in place following numerous legal challenges.