The Latest: US embassy: No ban on Nigerians

AP News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2017 2:01 PM
The Latest: US embassy: No ban on Nigerians

CAIRO (AP) — The Latest developments on President Donald Trump's new travel ban and the reaction from around the world (all times local):

9 p.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria says there's no need for Nigerians to cancel travel plans to the United States and says suggestions of a policy change negatively affecting Nigerians are incorrect.

Spokesman Russell K. Brooks responded to an Associated Press request for comment after a Nigerian government statement Monday said some Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas have been barred entry and put on the next plane home.

Earlier Tuesday, Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project said Nigeria's government "must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians' internationally recognized right to freedom of movement."

Possessing a visa has never automatically guaranteed entry, Brooks notes, but "Nigerians with a valid visa and a legitimate purpose are certainly welcome to visit the United States."

He says "we encourage all visitors to be clear and consistent about their purpose and cooperate fully with U.S. immigration authorities."

Nigeria is not part of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. Half its 170 million citizens are Muslims and it's battling Boko Haram's Islamic uprising in the northeast.

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4 p.m.

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project is urging acting President Yemi Osinbajo to tell U.S. President Donald Trump that Nigeria will not tolerate any harassment and unfair treatment of Nigerians with valid U.S. visas.

A Nigerian government statement Monday said some Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas have been barred entry, had their visas cancelled and been put on the next plane home, without explanation.

The rights group says Nigeria's government "must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians' internationally recognized right to freedom of movement," as Iraq's government did in ensuring its citizens were taken off "the obnoxious executive order list."

Nigeria is not on Trump's revised travel ban. Half its 170 million citizens are Muslims and it's battling Boko Haram's Islamic uprising in the northeast.

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2:20 p.m.

A Yemeni political analyst has denounced the new U.S. travel ban as hypocritical because it doesn't affect other Gulf and Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, for example, which he says had many citizens involved in terror attacks.

Hassan Al-Wareeth, who is also a journalist at the Yemeni News Agency Saba, says the move only "hits the weak countries that don't have direct relations with the U.S."

Yemenis on the streets of the capital, Sanaa, appeared unfazed on Tuesday by the new ban, having lived under nearly three years of fighting in their country's civil war.

Mohamed Hameza says it's "better for us not to travel to America ... what will we do there?"

Ahmed al-Wageih agreed and said "this decision will not affect us."

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1:25 p.m.

An Iranian traveler bound for Los Angeles says he feels lucky that he and his wife are already on their way to America — before the new U.S. travel ban takes effect.

The 67-year-old retired oil industry engineer says the couple was flying via Amsterdam on Tuesday to visit their son and daughter-in-law. He says that, "luckily, me and my wife have Green Cards" but wonders how other Iranians would be able to visit their family in the U.S.

He told The Associated Press the two of them bought their tickets several weeks ago. As with many U.S.-bound Iranians, he spoke on condition of anonymity fearing possible negative repercussions on his relatives in the United States.

—Amir Vahdat in Tehran.

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1:10 p.m.

Somalia's new president is criticizing the revised U.S. travel ban, telling journalists that "definitely" he would prefer it be lifted and reminding the United States that it has a large Somali community.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who holds both U.S. and Somali citizenship after having lived for many years in the United States, spoke on Tuesday during a visit by the United Nations secretary-general.

Mohamed says Somalis in the U.S. "have contributed to the U.S. economy and the U.S. society in different ways, and we have to talk about what the Somali people have contributed rather than a few people who may cause a problem."

Somalia's president also acknowledged his country's security challenges and says his government must "address the root cause, which is the security situation here and how to defeat al-Shabab" extremists.

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1 p.m.

Cairo airport authorities say they allowed six Sudanese refugees to board a flight bound for New York because they have yet to receive any instructions from the United States on President Donald Trump's new travel ban.

An Egyptian statement on Tuesday says airlines operating out of Cairo's international airport, including flagship carrier EgyptAir, have no new information about the ban, which was announced on Monday.

The revised ban applies to citizens of six Muslim majority countries who apply for new visas — Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan. It has dropped Iraq from the list due to concerns over security cooperation.

The new ban also suspends the entire refugee program for four months to allow for a security review, and reduces the maximum global number of refugees the U.S. is willing to absorb in 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000.

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12:45 p.m.

Iran's deputy foreign minister says Iran's "retaliatory decision" over Trump's initial travel ban is still in place.

The semi-official ISNA news agency is quoting Deputy Foreign Minister, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi as saying that the measures Iran implemented over the initial Trump executive order in January on U.S. entry is "still in force" and that there is "no need for a new decision."

Iran had previously said it would reciprocate by banning Americans from getting visas to Iran.

Ravanchi spoke a day after Trump signed the new order, which includes Iran and five other Muslim-majority countries.

The Iranian minister added that "currently we are witnessing a chaos in both domestic and foreign policies in the United States."

This time around, the executive order does not go into effect immediately and won't take effect until March 16, giving the world time to assess its impact.

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10:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump's new travel ban comes without the chaos the old one touched off.

It doesn't go into effect immediately, giving the world time to assess its impact. And it comes after weeks of consultation with agency heads over legal issues and implementation.

The scaled-back order still faces critics who question whether it actually will make the U.S. safer in the long run.

The new order bars new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program, affecting would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

But the new ban eliminates many of the original order's most contentious elements. It removes Iraq from the list of banned countries and makes clear that current visa holders will not be impacted.