On January 31, the Trump administration issued Presidential Proclamation 9645, an expansion of the "Muslim ban" it initially released in January 2017. Citing security concerns, the White House added Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria to a list that will suspend all visas for travelers looking for permanent residency in the United States and suspended participation in the “Visa Lottery” for people from Sudan and Tanzania. People from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen were already not welcomed under the version of the ban that the Supreme Court of the United States upheld in June 2018. The added restrictions are set to begin on February 22, ABC News reports.
Advocates condemned the policy, which overwhelmingly targets Black and Brown people:
Without any evidence that this action will advance national security in any way, the Administration seeks to block thousands of Africans from visiting or immigrating to the U.S. This is further racial profiling. It is putting into effect the
rnPresident’s desire that immigrants from so-called “shithole” countries “go back to their huts.”
rn— Diana A. Konaté, JD (@DianaKonate) February 1, 2020
Attacks on Black migrants must be centered in both the efforts of immigration advocates and the media. The mainstream immigration narrative is complicit in concealing the criminalization of Black people and specifically Black migrants. Global solidarity must be shown for Black migrants attempting to seek safety in a country that continues to deny their humanity as well as their right to a fair process. The profiling and surveillance of Black migrants will continue to escalate unless Black migrants are uplifted and centered.
BAJI is appalled at even the thought of an expansion of the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban. More than half of the countries: Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania on the list are African countries and would be hit hardest. For example, the expansion of the ban would disproportionately affect Nigeria, the largest African country by population. As a Queer Somali Muslim advocate, this issue hits close to home. Because of the Muslim Ban, one of my family members was stuck in Nairobi for almost three years, separated from her husband and children. Her youngest daughter lives with chronic illness. No mother should be so cruelly separated from her children.