“Nigerians with a valid visa and legitimate purpose are certainly welcome to visit the United States.” Says Donald Trump
Recently, there has been rumour in Nigeria concerning the banning of its citizens. For confirmation, the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, Amb. Hakeem Balogun, said different reasons are responsible for the extreme vetting Nigerians’ face during entry into the US. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Washington, he added that the President Donald Trump’s travel ban does not affect Nigerians.
He said, “The executive ban on immigration does not affect Nigerians. Whatever must have taken place regarding visa issuance, vetting at the airports, it’s all normal. All these things have been on even before President Trump. Let’s get one thing well, that you are issued visa is not a guarantee that you will end up wherever you’re going.”
He further explained,“It’s a global thing; it’s not just United States. Even with us in Nigeria, we issue a visa to you here in the Nigerian Embassy,there is no guarantee that you will get in when you get to Murtala Mohammed Airport or when you get to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.”
Balogun reiterated, “The final authority is the man at the point of entry – immigration officers.”
He also said Nigerians are restricted from entering the US because they failed to meet other required procedures.
He further explained, ” A pregnant woman who comes to the United States on visiting visa will probably be turned back at the point of entry because she does not have a medical visa.You are coming in on a visiting visa and the immigration man sees you pregnant. Naturally, he will turn you back.”
“Even if you have the medical visa, they want to know if you have medical insurance; do you have your medical documents for you to be able to come and use their medical facilities here so these are issues. Nigeria is not being singled out. We are not one of those countries that have been mentioned. We are definitely not one of them.”
Spokesman Russell K. Brooks responded to an Associated Press request for comment after a Nigerian government statement recently said some Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas have been barred entry and put on the next plane home.
In his response, Russell K. Brooks said that possessing a visa has never automatically guaranteed entry. “But Nigerians with a valid visa and a legitimate purpose are certainly welcome to visit the United States.” he reiterated.
He explained “we encourage all visitors to be clear and consistent about their purpose and cooperate fully with US immigration authorities.”
Some legal groups in Nigeria said Nigeria’s government “must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians’ internationally recognized right to travel and ensure its citizens were taken off “the obnoxious executive order list”,meanwhile Nigeria is not part of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.
It was confirmed that only Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are the countries banned from US and that Nigeria is never part of the list. Consequently, the US Embassy in Nigeria also said that there is no need for Nigerians to cancel travel plans to the United States and said suggestions of a policy change negatively affecting Nigerians are incorrect.