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Immigrants From Eritrea, Nigeria, Congo, And More Could Be Affected By Trump’s New Crackdown

By Parker Diakite

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Remember that time when President Donald Trump reportedly sat in a room with a group of lawmakers on immigration and questioned why the U.S. allows immigrants from “s**thole countries,” referring to African nations and Haiti, instead of more people from Norway?

That statement may have very well been a precursor into what the Trump administration is considering next.

A recent order from the White House has directed the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on countries for a “disproportionate” share of “visa overstays.”

In short, this order means that there will be a crackdown on people who come to the United States legally but stay past their visa expiration date, according to a report from Slate.  The measure even goes a step further and considers placing a travel ban against any country with a visitor visa overstay rate of more than 10 percent.

The presidential memo seeks to address the “large numbers of aliens” who overstay and as a result are “placing significant strain on [government] resources, which are currently needed to address the national emergency on our southern border.”

In about four months, the secretary of state is required to provide recommendations to the president, which may include a measure of suspending all visitor visas from countries who meet that 10 percent overstay rate.

Which Countries Will Be Affected?

If you look at the latest data from DHS regarding overstay rates, only 20 countries meet that threshold: Djibouti, Chad, Yemen, Eritrea, Burundi, Palau, Syria, Angola, South Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia, Bhutan, Sudan, Somalia, Cabo Verde, Republic of Congo, Georgia, Mauritania, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

One thing most of these countries have in common is the fact that none of them are in Europe and most of them are in Africa. 

As Boundless pointed out, what makes the DHS overstay data suspicious is the top 20 together make up, at most, 7 percent of visa overstays. 

The top 20 countries by overstay volume, on the other hand, account for 76 percent of visitor visa overstays, with Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany topping the list.

“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the administration has created a discriminatory benchmark that would focus primarily on people from countries in Africa, rather than addressing the overwhelming majority of visa overstays that originate in other countries,” Boundless analysis concluded.

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