Nigerians, who have long decried the visa application processes in both the United States and Europe as racist, expressed disbelief and anger after the Trump administration announced the new policy, which takes effect Feb. 21.
Okorafor Chimedu, a 29-year-old teacher in Warri, Nigeria, called it a “collective punishment.” Chimedu has a university degree and relatives already living in the United States to sponsor him but knows his odds of relocating are now slim unless something changes.
“I hope the two nations will rectify their differences soon so that the ban can be lifted,” he said. “We need each other to progress in this world. No man is an island of his own.
The U.S. government said it decided to impose new visa restrictions on a total of six more countries that failed to meet minimum security requirements for verifying travelers’ identities and whether individuals posed a national security threat.
People’s Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar said the United States instead should “consider adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties, rather than target the entire Nigerian population.”