As Trump travel ban takes effect, unanswered questions abound as panic sets in

Chief White House Correspondent for | + posts

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

President Donald Trump‘s expanded travel ban will take effect in just days, and as those days turn into minutes, and those minutes quickly turn into seconds, panic has set in, with many Africans scrambling to find answers.

Limited updates by some high ranking officials of the Trump administration have left many questions unanswered, and many people confused.

Virtually every day, TODAY NEWS AFRICA receives many questions from readers across Africa and the world, sadly, this publication is unable to provide answers to many of them.

The expanded travel ban, which included Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is affecting primarily foreign nationals who would like to immigrate to the United States.

Most of those people are moving to the United States to reside permanently here.

The types of visas associated with permanent residency are different from non-immigrant visas – students, visitors, short term trips for diplomats, patients, exchange programs, etc.

Those are people who bring a lot of money to the United States and contribute to the American economy while immigrant visas recipient reside here and send back billions of dollars every year to family members.

The people mainly affected are “marriage visas”. Those are people who fell in love with American citizens, got married or are planning to get married to enjoy life together as couples. All the visas Associated with such relationships have been suspended, including for those who were already in the process or had an embassy date.

This does not affect immigrants already in the United States directly but it will affect those trying to bring loved ones to the United States.

The initial travel ban, which was expanded last month to include six new countries was modified to allow immigrants living legally and permanently in tbe United States to bring immediate family members but no one else.

President Trump and some hardliners describe the practice as “chain migration”.

Asylum seekers are not affected and H1-B visas are not affected as well.

But there are many other immigrant visas that will be affected. The details are what many people want to know now.

As questions keep coming in, the administration would need to provide more explanation or clear guidelines for those in limbo at the moment.

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