Effect Of Us Immigration Laws On Nigerian Immigrants



Immigration                Photo Credit – Bloom field Lawpractice

Trump’s victory at the US polls held a lot of positive and mostly negative stories for Nigerian immigrants. Trump rode his campaign on returning America back to the ‘real’ Americans. He proposed not only to stop illegal immigrants from coming in, but also to deport as many as 2-3 million immigrants, and also make the admission of legal immigrants stricter. Why will he do this? To take back America from ‘’aliens’’, to give American jobs back to American, and to reduce unemployment for Americans to as low as possible.

Talking about the threat posed by Africans and Nigerians in particular, Trump reportedly said at a rally in Kansas:

“We have to move Africans. Nigerians are everywhere now. I was at the meeting in Alaska and only Africans were everywhere. Where do you think they are from? From Nigeria! I saw them in each state where they got a job. Why can’t they find a job in the hometown in their native country? I know, because corruption reigns in their country. Their government plunders people. Therefore, they come here and take us away from our work. When I become a President, we will send all of them home. We will construct a wall along the Atlantic coast.”

Earlier this year, in concord with his campaign promises a lot of policies were enacted in US courtesy of President Donald Trump. The implication of these new immigration policies includes the fact that Unless the Federal Government reviews its visa policy with the United States of America, Nigerians will no longer enjoy visas to the US with two-year validity, according to an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump.

Section 9 of the Executive Order states: “The Secretary of State shall review all non-immigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. “If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking non-immigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.”

Currently, Nigeria issues a visa with one-year validity to US citizens, which is a non-reciprocation of the two-year visa the country issues to Nigerians, which is what the US President seeks to correct. Also, Nigerians who hold dual nationality will be affected if their other passport is from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, the seven Muslim-majority countries “of concern.” By this provision, except the Federal Government quickly reviews the validity of Nigerian visa to Americans, Nigerians also will be issued with one-year visas. With immediate take off of the Trump’s order, Nigerians holding valid two-year US visa are most likely going to be affected. Nigeria is also not reciprocating the fees charged by the American government, despite shorter visa validity. While the US charges Nigerians $160 for a typical visit visa, Nigeria charges $180, in addition to a $35 “processing fee.”

The section on dual nationality involving seven Muslim-majority countries is not expected to affect a significant number of Nigerians because a second citizenship of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen is not common. However, Nigerians who have been to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen in recent times may be subjected to extra immigration control with possible deportation.