Representatives of Nigeria’s foreign department may have opportunity to address the Trump’s administration travel ban on legal immigration from Nigeria at 2020 US-Nigeria Binational Commission meeting on Monday, February 3 and Tuesday, February 4.
A statement on the meeting said, “the U.S. Department of State has the pleasure of receiving Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and his interagency delegation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Washington, D.C., for the 2020 U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission on February 3 and 4.”
The theme of this year’s BNC is “Innovation and Ingenuity,” which reflects the entrepreneurial, inventive, and industrious spirit shared by the Nigerian and American people.
But few days ago, the Trump administration announced that starting February 22, Nigerians will no longer be able to obtain visas allowing them to immigrate to the US permanently.
A statement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf said, “Nigeria does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics,” announcing the “suspension of entry for Immigrants, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.”
The Vox reported that Nigerians can still travel to the US on temporary visas, such as those for foreign workers, tourists, and students. But for the large Nigerian diaspora in the US, the policy could erode their deep family and cultural ties to their home country, Africa’s most populous nation and one of its economic powerhouses.
However, the Binational Commission, established years ago, is the premiere platform of engagement between Governments of the United States and Nigeria to expand cooperation and advance shared goals.
“Our delegations will discuss areas of strategic collaboration toward measurable progress, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, development, good governance, and security cooperation,” said the U.S. Department of State.
Other countries on the travel ban are Eritrea, Myanmar, Tanzania, Sudan and Kyrgyzstan