Donald Trump is planning to add Nigeria and six other countries to his travel ban – which could extend to more non-Muslim-majority nations
- Currently travel is banned from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – all but one of them Muslim-majority
- Now administration is considering adding Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania
- Nigeria is majority Muslim but by a slim margin, Tanzania is majority Christian while Belarus is overwhelmingly Christian
- Myanmar is majority Buddhist and Muslims from the Rohingya minority have been persecuted in the country
- Countries being considered are said to have failed to meet State Department standards on biometrics, information-sharing and counter-terrorism measures
The Trump administration is planning to add seven countries – Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania – to its travel ban list, U.S. media reports said on Tuesday.
Some countries will face bans only on some visa categories, the Wall Street Journal reported. The list of countries was not final and could yet change, website Politico said.
President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Journal that he was considering adding countries to the travel ban, but declined to state which ones. Politico said an announcement was expected as early as Monday.
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WHO’S BANNED NOW… AND WHO MIGHT BE
Current ban affects:
Iran: 99.4% Muslim
Libya : 96.6% Muslim
North Korea: not recorded
Somalia: Large majority Muslim
Syria: 87% Muslim, 10% Christian
Yemen: 99.1% Muslim
(Chad was on the list them removed)
Belarus: 43.8% Orthodox, 7.1% Catholic
Eritrea: believed Muslim majority, large Christian minority
Kyrgyzstan: 90% Muslim, 7% Christian
Myanmar: 87.9% Buddhist, 6.2% Christian
Nigeria: 53.5% Muslim, 45.9% Christian
Sudan: Large majority Muslim
Tanzania: 61.4% Christian, 35.2% Muslim
Data from CIA World Factbook
The move is likely to sour ties between the United States and the countries affected under the expanded ban.
Nigeria, for example, Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, is a U.S. anti-terrorism partner and has a large diaspora residing in the United States.
A senior Trump administration official said that countries that failed to comply with security requirements, including biometrics, information-sharing and counter-terrorism measures, faced the risk of limitations on U.S. immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The State Department declined to comment.
Under the current version of the ban, citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan officials and their relatives are blocked from obtaining a large range of U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
Chad was previously covered under the ban but was removed in April 2018.
Citizens of the countries can apply for waivers to the ban, but they are exceedingly rare.