More travel bans…WHY?

Our preznit has announced placing more travel bans on various countries. Why, I don’t know. What does this accomplish for us? I was just talking to an Ethiopian student who is concerned about our restrictive policies, and isn’t sure he can stay in the country. But we get the cream of the crop from other countries — people who enrich our culture, who contribute to our economy, who help build international ties…and Trump thinks this is bad?

In particular, he has announced new restrictions in travel from Nigeria, home of one of the largest, best educated, most prosperous populations on the continent. We have Nigerian students here, and they are an asset to our community. What possible reason could Trump have for punishing them?

Nigeria, the most high-profile country under consideration, has particularly come under focus from the White House. With Nigeria accounting for the third highest number of US visa overstays in 2018, the Trump administration has become tougher on Africa’s largest economy.

After indefinitely suspending its visa interview waiver for Nigerian applicants (the waiver allowed frequent travelers renew their visa without going through in-person interviews each time), the US also raised visa application fees for Nigerians by including additional “reciprocity fees” ranging from $80 to $303 depending on the class of visa. And even though the Nigerian government immediately slashed visa application fees for American applicants in a bid to get the US to reverse its price increase, the reciprocity fees remain in place. The clampdown measures have resulted in Nigeria recording the largest global drop-off in visitors to the US.

There is no reason. Our government is simply insane.


  1. lakitha tolbert says

    My theory is that are attempting to stave off that demographic change they can see coming, which is already happening, and inevitable. They think they can stop that change by stopping all immigration from non-white countries, not understanding (or even wanting to) that that change is happening because the poc, who already live in the US, are simply younger than the older white population, which is dying off. In some counties n the South this change has already occurred.

    They really think they can make it NOT happen by forcing white women to have more children, and stopping poc from coming here.

    They are horribly wrong, of course.

  2. Richard Smith says

    It may have something to do with the first five letters of the country’s name. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump and his ilk think it’s actually the first six letters, or that it ought to be…

  3. Kaintukee Bob says

    Pretty sure Trump is just salty because the ‘yuge’ payout from his good friend, the Prince of Nigeria, hasn’t materialized yet. And after he’s sent so much money for fees and bribes!

  4. brianl says

    The entire student visa system is completely, utterly broken and has been for 30 years. No one is willing to fix it. There are no advocates trying to address even its most obvious deficiencies. I truthfully don’t know why students make so much effort to come to the US to study at this point. There are any number of other countries who actually want them.

  5. wzrd1 says

    An Iranian student went home to visit his family over the holidays, upon returning to the US, Customs canceled his long approved student visa and despite a court order to stay deportation, put him on an airplane to France.
    The university he was attending has gotten zero traction on the matter, his attorney had zero traction and the judge close proceedings – despite the contempt that Customs displayed openly.
    Welcome to the Fascist States of America, never ire the Emperor.

  6. says

    An individual-group reasoning error leading to racism against Nigerians. Maybe hypersensitivity to overstaying justifying group aggression instead of specifically targeting overstaying?
    It reminds me of sensitivity to the possibility.of fraudulent voting.

  7. kome says

    If we attract the cream of the crop from around the world, mediocre and below-average white men like Trump wouldn’t be in the positions they are.

  8. brightmoon says

    Just got finished reading about tRumps abusive policy regarding pregnant foreigners who come in on visitor visas . So what if they give birth here ! My 2 sons speak at least 5 languages that they didn’t learn in school because of “them furreners”

  9. eveningchaos says

    I work at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and we at least can see a benefit from Trump’s draconian and racist travel bans. We have so many new students, post-docs and professors from these countries who are contributing very positively to our university both in instruction and research. Many from brilliant minds from Iran have come to our school for example. Sadly, due to Trumps escalation of tension in Iran through his assassination of Qassem Soleimani, many were recently killed in the accidental downing of Flight PS752. It seems even in Canada Iranians and Canadians can’t escape Trump’s vile touch. I hope you can impeach the Orange Menace or vote him out of office in November. The world can’t suffer another 4 years with him at the helm.

  10. Robert Serrano says

    Of course they would. Below-average white men like Trump are in the positions they are purely by having been born into the right family. There are literally millions of men, of all races, ethnicities, etc. who, regardless of there own competence or drive, will end up slaving away under some born on third base idiot just like Trump. Why would being an immigrant make any difference in that?

  11. robro says

    My guess is he sees this as appealing to his base…the kind of people that vote to ban emigrants from their town. It’s stupid but that never stopped a stupid person.

  12. acroyear says

    Now all of the countries listed may have minority status issues…except Belarus.

    They’re, well, white. Mostly Christian (eastern, but still Christian at least for those who went back to a faith after the Soviet Union split). The only thing I can think of is that, well, they aren’t pro-Putin at all. They support Ukraine independence and while not interested in joining the EU, do have good trade deals and relations with them as well as their Baltic neighbors.

    So the only thing I can think of there is a very specific Putin asked for it scenario. Nothing else makes sense. There’s no terror threat, no minority threat, no religious minority threat.

    Just picked a country that Putin would love to have back in the fold, which only serves to strenghthen their ties to the EU that Trump is abandoning.

  13. rrhain says

    You need to remember the words of Pelosi: All roads lead to Putin. If you take a look at many of these countries, they are connected to Putin’s interests in some way. Kyrgyzstan and Belarus? They are trying to maintain independence from Russia. By cutting them off from the West, that will increase their dependency on Russia. Nigeria just signed an arms deal with Russia. Again, cutting NIgeria off from the West makes them more dependent on Russia. Eritrea has a recent trade negotiation.

    So whatever isn’t connected to a Muslim ban, the rest you can be certain were countries Putin told him to ban so that they would turn to Russia.

  14. says

    Trump is trying to trigger a 9/11. That’s the answer to this question.

    The first travel ban didn’t do it. (Trigger another 9/11)
    Blessing every West Bank settlement expansion didn’t do it.
    Moving the embassy to Jerusalem didn’t do it.
    Abandoning the Kurds to ethnic cleansing didn’t do it.
    Ignoring and even facilitating the Kashogi murder didn’t do it.
    Putting troops back into Saudi Arabia didn’t do it. (troops in Saudi Arabia back in 2001 was a major trigger for 9/11 but Bush closed that base back then)
    Putting additional troops into Saudi Arabia a second time didn’t do it.
    Now expanding the Muslim ban might do it. When added to everything else.

    Bush was lower than Trump in the polls in the summer of 2001 and after 9/11, Bush screamed up to 90%. Trump even talked about this early in his presidency about how this nation might not unite behind him without another 9/11.

    So that is the best answer to why Trump has expanded the ban. And make no mistake about it, Trump has no ethical qualms with encouraging widespread American death if it means better poll numbers.

  15. William George says


    There’s an out and open white supremacist along with a few isolationists holding the Orange Illiterate’s ear.

  16. says

    Neither insane or evil work.
    “Insane” is appropriated outdated mental illness language and constitutes ableism. And like other bigotries are a flaw because they actively impede a functional understanding of a behavior problem.
    Evil is basically “maximum bad”, it plucks at feelings but still doesn’t give me information I can use.

    There’s good stuff, irrational, illogical, ignorant, and incompetent are alliterative and descriptive, and people like Trump act like they are insults so this should be a win-win.

  17. says

    I don’t know how your screening process works over there but here in Malaysia there is a significant problem with Nigerians and others entering the country as fake international students. Once here many of them don’t even bother to enrol and become active in crime syndicates. At one point because the government took the visa process away from the universities and centralised it under a single contractor the result was existing students taking up to a year to get visas renewed and many having their passports lost by the contractor. For over a year no university was able to enroll any overseas students despite approving them because none of them could get visas. The contractor was simply not competent to handle the process. Meanwhile the criminals found other ways of gaining entry. That said I studied with several Nigerian students they all deserved their places, were competent, hard working and academically gifted. Blanket simply don’t work and Trump’s ban is more about beating his chest and rousing his rabble than protecting America.

  18. psychomath says

    @22 Brony
    Rhetorically, I think it’s the inverse.

    @24 Marcus Ranum
    About half past six.

    As for the reason for new travel bans, it seems obvious enough that Trump hopes to ride reactionary white-identity fears all the way to reelection. Might work.

  19. says

    For the past few years, I have helped review applications for graduate students & postdocs to participate in a research program. Since Trump has been allowed to occupy the position of POTUS and inflict travel bans, we have had a number of well-qualified applicants who were unable to participate – because either they could not secure visas or because of the possibility that they would not be allowed in to the US despite having valid visas. Most applicants concerned have fortunately been able to find positions elsewhere, working on other projects, but the work they had proposed to do as part of our program could not be done.

    A couple of other students I have worked with who have dual citizenship or permanent residency in the US have not been able to leave the country or see their family members in person for years now because of the travel bans.

    All of this could have been prevented. And yet it has been allowed to keep happening for more than three years now.

    And echoing what others have written here already:

    This is not Trump and those with him being “insane”. This is Trump being a white supremacist racist and an anti-Muslim bigot (along with all of the other varieties of bigotry he enacts). And it is Trump being blatantly corrupt and quite publicly in the pay of autocratic regimes throughout the world.