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Trump’s Travel Restrictions Benefits Only China

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (L) speaks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 13, 2016. KENZABURO FUKUHARA / AFP / POOL

Overwhelmed by the coronavirus panic, US President Donald Trump’s impeachment folderol, and the chaotic Iowa Democratic caucuses, few took notice of the Trump administration’s announcement that it will expand its controversial 2017 travel restrictions to six more countries, including four in Africa. It is a politically expedient move that will do nothing to make Americans safer – and will help a country that the Trump’s own White House describes as a “strategic competitor.”

Trump’s original policy, unveiled in 2017, barred travelers from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from entering the United States. The expanded version prohibits anyone from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and Nigeria from applying to live and work in the US, and blocks Sudanese and Tanzanians from participating in the Diversity Visa Program, the annual green card lottery created to boost immigration from underrepresented countries.

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