Trump's plans to expand the Travel Ban in 2020
February 2, 2020 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Early in January 2020, word came that the White House was considering expanding its much-litigated travel ban (ACLU) to additional countries amid a renewed election-year focus on immigration issues by Donald Trump, according to four people familiar with the deliberations (The Guardian). The Wall Street Journal named possible countries on January 21, based on reports of a list circulating. Ten days later, the official list of newly listed countries was confirmed (New York Times): Africa’s biggest country, Nigeria, as well as Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania. Trump’s travel ban expansion is an unexpected win — for China (Washington Post Op-Ed).

The BBC has additional details:
Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas.

People from those countries will still be able to visit the US as tourists.

In 2018 the US issued twice as many immigration visas to Nigeria than to the other five nations combined.

An official said the new measures were the result of failures by the six countries to meet US security and information-sharing standards.

"These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful but for a variety of different reasons simply failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out," acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters on Friday.
...
In 2018 the US issued more than 8,000 immigration visas to citizens of Nigeria. That same year, just over 2,000 were issued to Sudanese nationals, 290 to Tanzanians, and just 31 to Eritreans.

The US had previously announced a ban on certain types of visas for Eritreans in 2017.
...
Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals will no longer be allowed to apply for "diversity visas", which are available by lottery for applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US.

Mr Wolf said non-immigrant visas given to people for temporary stays - including visitors, those doing business or people seeking medical treatment - would not be impacted by the new rules.
...
Kyrgyzstan and Sudan have large Muslim majorities, while around 50% of people in Nigeria and Eritrea are Muslim. Tanzania also has a sizable Muslim community.
...
While the government has suspended most immigrant and non-immigrant visas to applicants from those countries, exceptions are available for students and those with "significant contacts" in the US.
For an overview of past and present actions and decisions, here's the Wikipedia article on Trump travel ban.
posted by filthy light thief (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trump’s travel ban expansion is an unexpected win — for China (Washington Post Op-Ed).

"Hey Americans, your xenophobia is bad because it might help CHINA!!1!"

I can't even.
posted by heatherlogan at 3:54 PM on February 2 [15 favorites]


> I can't even.

Well, if you've accepted that you're not going to cure people's xenophobia, might as well use it against them, right?
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:34 PM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I teach at a college with many many students from all of those countries (except maybe Kyrgyzstan). Blocking the entry of Rohinga refugees from Myanmar seems especially egregious, but it's hard to overstate the impact that this action will have on the huge Nigerian community of Atlanta. I am heartbroken for my students who will be separated from their families who still live overseas and for the students who I will not get to teach because they cannot immigrate.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:35 PM on February 2 [33 favorites]


The cruelty is the point.
posted by hippybear at 4:36 PM on February 2 [44 favorites]


Coming of age in the 80s, I came to think that a US able to project its power and influence would always mean nothing but a blood-slicked cement floor for much of the rest of the world.

My opinion about that hasn't changed, but it never occurred to me that we'd give that ability up voluntarily, or so precipitously, or with such disastrous collateral consequences for average and would-be Americans.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:52 PM on February 2 [8 favorites]


"Hey Americans, your xenophobia is bad because it might help CHINA!!1!"

I can’t even.
I don’t think that interpretation is correct or useful: the article clearly explains the degree to which China has been investing in those countries and it’s not exactly xenophobia to see missing out on business deals as a loss. These countries are poised for economic growth (having started low in the aftermath of colonialism) and we are going to miss out if we treat them as enemies.
posted by adamsc at 5:15 PM on February 2 [7 favorites]


The disaster continues.
posted by odinsdream at 5:30 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


I'm in the beginning stages of advising an MA student from one of the affected countries and in nailing down his thesis topic we were talking about the possibility of his going home this summer to get some data. I guess that's right out now--even if his visa lets him go back and forth, I sure as heck can't guarantee that he'd be let back in the country. This is terrible, and I'm off to write an angry letter to my congressperson, for what good that'll do.
posted by damayanti at 5:49 PM on February 2 [8 favorites]


The last time the Travel Ban was in effect, a lot of people from uninvolved countries got caught up in the fracas. I'm heading back to the US for a couple of weeks next month and I really hope they don't try to cause trouble with my Malaysian passport.
posted by divabat at 6:59 PM on February 2 [9 favorites]


divabat: the thing is, I fear they will give you a hard time, not because your passport is somehow on a list somewhere but because the climate at border crossings seems to be increasingly "you're not from here, how dare you want to come here". I find this troubling, and I have no way to fight it other than to notice it.

I hope your travels go on without any hitch or impedance, truly.
posted by hippybear at 7:16 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Keaon Dousti کیان
This my best friend of 20 years.
He’s Nigerian and I’m Iranian.

(via)
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:13 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


but because the climate at border crossings seems to be increasingly "you're not from here, how dare you want to come here".

Meanwhile, when my Canadian partner and I visited the US last year in what was his first international travel, the border guard we got was like, "you haven't been to the US before? How dare you!" and we had to go wait in their station for a bit while they investigated this apparently suspicious (lack of?) activity.

(It seems that dude had recently been reassigned from the southern border to podunk minor northern border crossing and felt the need to exert his power in retaliation. So it was probably just whatever he could come up with. Hate to imagine how it likely would have gone if we weren't white, though. [angry emoji] )
posted by eviemath at 8:58 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Special thanks to the Honorable (sic) John G. Roberts and his Kangaroo Kourt Konservatives: The travel bans were never about national security.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:23 PM on February 2 [5 favorites]


Not wanted: brown people.

It's striking that even more or less explicit Islamophobia never extends to white Islamic populations even where political violence exists in their home countries, and that's setting aside the special reason that Chechen violence will never generate a travel ban for Russian nationals.
posted by jaduncan at 11:14 PM on February 2 [8 favorites]


hippybear: I'm well aware - border crossings have always been this hostile for as long as I've been alive (being on a Bangladesh passport for over half my life has proven it). This is just another layer of weird. It's unpredictable though - I flew in during the last Travel Ban and nothing happened to me.
posted by divabat at 3:26 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Could I make a humble request as a brown person whose parents are visiting tomorrow from India for an extended trip in the US? Saying yeah, as a brown person you should expect the worst is not really helpful and mostly just anxiety-provoking. I get that you think that statement is helpful but brown people are already aware of messed up immigration stuff and you saying that feels almost like normalizing a screwed up state of affairs - like you're brown, what do you expect?

The truth is as divabat says - border crossings are unpredictable and it's not a given that you'll be harassed if you're brown/black and not harassed if you're white. There are obviously many egregious examples of brown/black people getting caught up in overzealous security procedures but many millions of border crossings happen every day and most are uneventful.

FWIW I have never been called aside for extra screening procedures while my (white) husband has been. The most egregious example I know of in my immediate social circle is actually a white Polish woman who was detained for a day on suspicion of prostitution. Which is not to say that things are not worse for black/brown people at US border crossings -statistically they absolutely are - but most of them do go just fine. Mostly this is a plea to not up the (already high) anxiety levels of black/brown people with absolute statements.
posted by peacheater at 6:29 AM on February 3 [13 favorites]


adamsc: the article clearly explains the degree to which China has been investing in those countries and it’s not exactly xenophobia to see missing out on business deals as a loss. These countries are poised for economic growth (having started low in the aftermath of colonialism) and we are going to miss out if we treat them as enemies.

While the title is less than ideal (and I didn't think of a better summary), that Op Ed focuses on the fact that a number of the travel banned countries are part of China's international One Belt, One Road plan (previously). A summary from that post: "OBOR is an ambitious plan to build and upgrade highways, railways, ports, and other infrastructure throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe designed to enrich the economies of China and its trading partners."

As China looks outwards for ways to improve its economy and those of its trading partners (to boost their buying potential, to buy more Chinese goods and services, while also expanding their long-term investments around the world), the U.S. under Trump is saying "no, go away, you scare us, you don't look like us or pray to the same god."

If the travel ban wasn't so infuriating, angering, depressing and worrying, it'd be hilarious paired with the notion that Trump is some great business person.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


tonycpsu: The travel bans were never about national security.

And they aren't now. Trump is trying to book-end his first term as president with xenophobic, exclusionary policies. The first bans were hastily enacted in 2017, and in the run-up to election season*, he's expanding the travel ban.

* Who am I kidding? Trump started running since the start of this term. On Inauguration Day, President Trump filed the paperwork to be an official candidate for re-election. Now he's holding his first big fundraiser of the campaign at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, highlighting the flow of campaign cash into his organization. (PBS, June 28, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:20 AM on February 3


Has anyone even asked the administration when these supposedly temporary bans are going to end?
posted by Selena777 at 7:44 AM on February 3


Funny how those nations are so dangerous that America must keep people from them out, yet somehow it's totes fine for America to sell weapons to those nations.
posted by sotonohito at 8:33 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


They are dangerous due to all the weapons. But not just directly of course but also the violence they help foment.
posted by Bovine Love at 5:21 PM on February 5


The Supreme Court Is As Complicit As the Senate (Leah Litman, Slate)
"Trump’s abuses of office have been blessed by every branch of government"

[...] After his election, the president immediately suspended entry from several Muslim-majority countries without so much as informing, much less consulting, any relevant agencies. And his advisers admitted that the travel ban was an effort to make a Muslim ban that looked (somewhat) more legal. The Supreme Court ultimately blessed that effort in 2018 under a 5–4 vote that split along ideological lines.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:45 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Selena777: Has anyone even asked the administration when these supposedly temporary bans are going to end?

The Wikipedia article notes that
On December 7, 2015, as a candidate for president, Donald Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."
Trump's goal is to make America white and Christian. Any official statement counter to this is simply trying to make his hateful xenophobia sound less like hateful xenophobia.

Meanwhile, the president’s rhetoric has changed the way hundreds of children are harassed in American classrooms (Hannah Natanson, John Woodrow Cox and Perry Stein for the Washington Post, Feb. 13, 2020)

It's feeling more and more like a multi-front attack on non-white people.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on February 15


« Older ‘Cheer’ Uses Concussions To Make The Case For...   |   Somebody said it three times, didn't they? Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.