United States President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, January 20, signed some executive orders thereby reversing the immigrant visa ban placed on Nigerians by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Biden further removed the systemic ban placed on citizens from Muslim dominated countries like Yemen, according to a report by Bloomberg.
1st News had reported in February 2020 that Trump placed an immigrant visa ban on Nigeria, citing Nigeria’s lack of a robust database.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary-Beth Leonard, stated at the time that Nigeria must improve on its data intelligence to ease the investigation of its citizens wishing to migrate to the US if it wants the ban lifted.
Towards this regard, the Federal Government inaugurated a committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation, to address the complaints of the US.
This led to the recent push for all Nigerians to register with the National Identity Management Commission and obtain a National Identity Number.
With Biden’s reversal of Trump’s order, Nigerians will now be able to apply for green cards.
The Bloomberg report reads in part, “The ban that Biden ended, blocked entry to most people from Iran; Syria; Libya; Yemen; Somalia; and North Korea. It also restricted immigrant visas for people from Nigeria; Kyrgyzstan; Myanmar; and Eritrea as well as for certain others from Venezuela and Tanzania.”
Also, Biden signed an executive action ending restrictions on travel and immigration from some predominantly Muslim countries.
The measure directs the State Department to resume visa processing for those countries; and develop a plan to address people affected, such as those who were denied entry to the US.
The action also orders reviews of other “extreme vetting” practices used by the Trump administration; while directing the US to improve information-sharing with foreign governments to bolster screening of travellers.
Biden is also proposing a sweeping immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship; for roughly 11 million people living illegally in the US; White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday night that the president had sent the text of his proposal to Congress.
The legislation marks a stark contrast with the Trump administration’s efforts; to restrict both legal and illegal immigration during its four years in power.