By Eniola Akinkuotu, ’Femi Asu and Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi
The United States Embassy in Nigeria has announced new measures for visa renewal for Nigerians.
The embassy said in a statement that henceforth, all applicants including frequent travelers, who used to use the drop box method to renew their visa, would now have to appear for interviews each time they apply.
As the U.S. remains locked in a debate over asylum seekers from Central America, lawyers and advocacy groups say they are seeing an alarming uptick in deportations to the African nation of Eritrea — a country that President Donald Trump’s government acknowledges arbitrarily imprisons and tortures its own citizens.
Relief and excitement spread through Liberian communities in the United States on Thursday (Mar. 28) after president Donald Trump issued an executive order extending the deadline of the Deferred Enforced Departure program for 4,000 Liberians living in the US to Mar. 30, 2020.
In March 2018, the Trump administration announced the termination of the program and gave over 4,000 Liberians a year— until Mar. 31, 2019—to leave the US or risk deportation.
According tothe White House, yesterday’s decision was made “in the foreign policy interest of the United States.”
Canada announced Tuesday it will boost spending on border security in an effort to clamp down on asylum-seekers crossing into its country from the U.S.
The Canadian government is committing an additional $902 million over the next five years in an attempt to stem the flow of asylum-seekers from nations like Nigeria and Central American countries who are swarming its border from the U.S.
Magdalene Menyongar’s day starts with a 5:30 a.m. conference call with women from her church. They pray together as Menyongar makes breakfast and drives to work, reflecting on everything they are thankful for.
But lately, the prayers have turned to matters of politics and immigration. They pray with increasing urgency for Congress or President Trump to act before Menyongar, 48, faces deportation to her native Liberia, where she fled civil war nearly 25 years ago.
In less than six weeks, the order that has allowed her and more than 800 other immigrants from the former American colony in West Africa to live in the United States for decades will end, the result of Trump’s decision last year to terminate a program that every other president since George H.W. Bush supported.
Come March 31, Menyongar will face a choice: Return to Liberia and leave behind her 17-year-old daughter, an American citizen, or stay in the United States, losing her work authorization and becoming an undocumented immigrant.
Former American slaves were moved to Liberia in the 1800s to solve the “problem” of black and white people living alongside each other. Their descendants are facing the same journey.
Afomu Kelley was just 11 years old when she left Liberia with her mother in the early days of a civil war in 1990. She remembers standing in a crowd jostling to board an airplane to the United States for what she thought would be a six-week vacation.
Instead, the war in Liberia escalated and Kelley, now 40, never returned to the West African country. She grew up in Northern Virginia, where she finished high school early, and attended the University of Maryland. She has an American accent. Sometimes she doesn
But at the end of this month, she may be forced to return to a homeland she barely remembers.
Last year, the U.S. accepted the smallest of refugees since the modern resettlement program began in 1980.
According to the latest number from the Migration Policy Institute, 22,491 refugees settled in the U.S. in 2018, that’s just under half of the 45,000 person ceiling set by the government.
Although Texas still leads the nation in resettlements. Last year 1,692 refugees came to the Lone Star State, according to the National Immigration Forum. That’s a 77 percent drop from 2015 when 7,479 refugees were settled, according to Refugee Council USA.
The sharp drop is the result of executive actions by the Trump administration, which wants to limit the inflow of refugees to the U.S. The 45,000 admission cap was the lowest since the Refugee Act of 1980 was approved.
The city of Madison, Wisconsin, is working on the idea of establishing an African Center for Community Development which will provide employment service, financial advice to make adjusting to Madison easier. The main goal of the African Center for Community Development is to build a sense of community within Madison and create a way for Africans to share and build culture. African community center is intended to increase access to language services, job training and immigration counseling.