Fear and Loathing among African Immigrants

Fear and Loathing among African Immigrants

Photo by Joshua Oluwagbemiga on Unsplash

The travel ban, which is expected to come into effect on 21 February, could endanger the prospects of Muslim immigrants seeking to resettle in the US  

Feeling devastated by Trump’s travel ban

Lives for many African Muslims have never been the same again after January 31 when the US President, Donald Trump, added six countries to the travel ban, including Nigeria.

With one fell swoop, Trump has made it virtually impossible for people from Nigeria from getting permanent US residency.

There are numerous instances of Nigerian men whose children and wives won’t be able to put down roots in the US following this new rule.

They say they are now staring down the barrel of a bleak future that hardly holds any promise for them.

Thirteen countries face travel ban

As per the latest ban, the restrictions now apply to 13 countries, including Nigeria, home to Africa’s largest population and economy. Some estimate the new ban, which goes into effect on 21 February, could end up affecting the future of more than 12,000 immigrants seeking to resettle in the US next year.

Even people from Tanzania and Sudan have been blocked from obtaining green cards through the “diversity visa” lottery.

Is Trump being driven by anti-immigrant agenda?

It seems Trump is determined to pursue his aggressive anti-immigrant agenda, which includes curbs on legal migration, destruction of the American asylum system, an all-time low cap on refugees, and mass deportations.

Many believe that Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda is nothing but blatant discrimination against the Muslims and the Africans.

However, the Trump administration is using the fig leaf of national security to justify the ban.

It also goes on to add that the ban on these countries has been necessitated by varying degrees of failure to meet the US security and information-sharing standards.

Many are calling it a political subterfuge

However, immigrant rights groups are not impressed by the argument. They insist that the policy is nothing but a political subterfuge amid Trump’s re-election campaign – and one that will have profound ramifications.

A community organizer from Nigeria settled down in the US in 2014. He was all set to bring his mother to the US, but the ban is going put paid to such chances and possibilities.

He bemoans the uncertain fate of those people who would languish in Nigeria because of this travel ban policy.

He apprehends that if Trump is re-elected, there is every possibility of their having to wait for another five years to reunite.

Dejection and cynicism creeping in

A 20-year-old student in San Diego, who grew up in Sudan, felt upset following this new travel ban.

She was eager to see her grandparents back in the US. “It’s so frustrating. They are getting on in years, and I want to see them before anything happens.”

She also finds it difficult to believes that the US was betraying its paranoia against large groups of Muslims while seeming to gloss over the ongoing terror threat of American mass shootings.

An Eritrean American who is working in Silicon Valley had petitioned for her mother to come live with her in the US.  

She was hopeful that she would soon get an interview date at the embassy.

However, the optimism was short-lived.

Trump still has the upper hand

Even though the first travel ban was upheld by the US supreme court recently, there are not many recourses left to challenge the policy.

Advocates are convinced that a Democratic president will definitely repeal the ban preventing discriminatory immigration policies.

Until that happens, Trump will continue to call the shots with his executive power to redefine what it means to be a citizen.

According to an article published in the Guardian, Eric Naing, a Burmese American, who works with Muslim Advocates, a group that has challenged the ban, says that the president of the United States and the US government has appropriated the right to decide who gets to be an American.

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