Immigrants From Chad, Libya & Somalia Barred Entry to the US

Washington DC – USA: Nationals of the three African nations of Chad, Somalia and Libya will be facing even more difficulty entering the United States in line with a September Presidential proclamation of Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats. 

Flag of the US
Flag of US

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling issued on Monday, allowed the third version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go into effect. The Justice Department argued that President Donald Trump had acted under his broad constitutional and statutory authority to control immigration to the country.

The three Muslim-majority African countries are included in nine countries named in the travel ban. Others are Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

Legal challenges to the travel ban continue in the lower courts and the high court told the lower court to move swiftly to determine whether the latest ban was lawful. Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked portions of the travel ban saying that they were unconstitutional and geared towards religious discrimination.

In a rather perplexing reason for inclusion on the travel ban, the Guardian newspaper reports that one of the countries, Chad, ended up on the list of ban countries because it was unable to provide an updated passport sample requested by the U.S. Government.

President Idris Deby Itno of Chad
President Idris Deby Itno of Chad

The paper quoted Homeland Security officials as saying there were other reasons for the inclusion of Chad but that discussions were underway to resolve the issues.

Chad has been a major ally of the U.S. in the fight against extremists in Nigeria and Niger and parts of central Africa.

In the U.S. Presidential Proclamation on the three African countries, President Trump said in section (a)  Chad:

(i)   The government of Chad is an important and valuable counterterrorism partner of the United States, and the United States Government looks forward to expanding that cooperation, including in the areas of immigration and border management.  Chad has shown a clear willingness to improve in these areas.  Nonetheless, Chad does not adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information and fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion.  Additionally, several terrorist groups are active within Chad or in the surrounding region, including elements of Boko Haram, ISIS-West Africa, and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.  At this time, additional information sharing to identify those foreign nationals applying for visas or seeking entry into the United States who represent national security and public-safety threats is necessary given the significant terrorism-related risk from this country.

(ii)  The entry into the United States of nationals of Chad, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is hereby suspended.

(c)  Libya: 

(i)   The government of Libya is an important and valuable counterterrorism partner of the United States, and the United States Government looks forward to expanding on that cooperation, including in the areas of immigration and border management.  Libya, nonetheless, faces significant challenges in sharing several types of information, including public-safety and terrorism-related information necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States.  Libya also has significant inadequacies in its identity-management protocols.  Further, Libya fails to satisfy at least one key risk criterion and has been assessed to be not fully cooperative with respect to receiving its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States.  The substantial terrorist presence within Libya’s territory amplifies the risks posed by the entry into the United States of its nationals.

Political Map of Libya
Map of Libya

(ii)  The entry into the United States of nationals of Libya, as immigrants, and as nonimmigrants on business (B-1), tourist (B-2), and business/tourist (B-1/B-2) visas, is hereby suspended.

(h)  Somalia:  

(i)   The Secretary of Homeland Security’s report of September 15, 2017, determined that Somalia satisfies the information-sharing requirements of the baseline described in section 1(c) of this proclamation.  But several other considerations support imposing entry restrictions and limitations on Somalia.  Somalia has significant identity-management deficiencies.  For example, while Somalia issues an electronic passport, the United States and many other countries do not recognize it.  A persistent terrorist threat also emanates from Somalia’s territory.  The United States Government has identified Somalia as a terrorist safe haven.  Somalia stands apart from other countries in the degree to which its government lacks command and control of its territory, which greatly limits the effectiveness of its national capabilities in a variety of respects.  Terrorists use under-governed areas in northern, central, and southern Somalia as safe havens from which to plan, facilitate, and conduct their operations.  Somalia also remains a destination for individuals attempting to join terrorist groups that threaten the national security of the United States.  The State Department’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism observed that Somalia has not sufficiently degraded the ability of terrorist groups to plan and mount attacks from its territory.  Further, despite having made significant progress toward formally federating its member states, and its willingness to fight terrorism, Somalia continues to struggle to provide the governance needed to limit terrorists’ freedom of movement, access to resources, and capacity to operate.  The government of Somalia’s lack of territorial control also compromises Somalia’s ability, already limited because of poor recordkeeping, to share information about its nationals who pose criminal or terrorist risks.  As a result of these and other factors, Somalia presents special concerns that distinguish it from other countries. 

President Mohamed-Abdullahi-Mohamed of Somalia
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia

(ii)  The entry into the United States of nationals of Somalia as immigrants is hereby suspended.  Additionally, visa adjudications for nationals of Somalia and decisions regarding their entry as nonimmigrants should be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants are connected to terrorist organizations or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States.

Waivers: 

The U.S. Presidential Proclamation, under the waiver provision says: 

A waiver may be granted only if a foreign national demonstrates to the consular officer’s or CBP official’s satisfaction that:

(A)  denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship;

(B)  entry would not pose a threat to the national security or public safety of the United States; and

(C)  entry would be in the national interest.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

 

Sub-Saharan African “Slave” Migrants Being Repatriated From Libya

Following revelation and an outcry against the purported  “slave auctions” of mostly black African migrants in the North African nation of Libya, several African countries have begun receiving their repatriated nationals.

Migrants
Migrants in Libya

With assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) the Government of Sierra Leone  on Wednesday received 164 of its citizens.

The Journal du Cameroun website quotes IOM officials as saying the the returnees which included men, women and children were flown to Freetown in the early hours of Wednesday with the help of the IOM.

According to IOM officials,  the returnees had voluntarily asked to be flown back home after going through  what they described as “difficult experiences”.

IOM
IOM

The European Union (EU) and the Government of Libya provided tickets for the Sierra Leonen returnees while the IOM is providing financial assistance packages to facilitate reintegration in their various communities.

The returnees are being temporarily accommodated  at the National Stadium in the capital Freetown.

Meantime, the Government of Burkina Faso has recalled its Ambassador to Libya over reports of the “auction” of black African migrants in the north African nation.

About 135 Burkinabe migrants were recently repatriated with assistance from the IOM.

Gambian Migrants
Gambia Migrants

In the Gambia, about 1500 returnees who were repatriated from Libya have begun receiving packages from the IOM for resettlement.

As part of its Freedom Project, CNN recently uncovered a ” slave auction market” of black African migrants in Libya in multiple locations in the country.

The Government of National Unity (GNA) of Libya, while announcing an investigation, responded to the report saying, “We affirm again that the practical solution is to address the real reasons that drive people to leave their home countries, treat them and develop final solutions for them.”

The Chairman of the African Union and Guinean Presidnet Alpha Conde has condemned the auction of Africans as slaves.

Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

 

Libya Opens Investigation Into “Slave Market” In The Country

Map of Libya
Map of Libya

The north African national of Libya says will investigate alleged slave trading in the country, the internationally recognized government announced on Sunday following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off.

Chaos-ridden Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse in the North African country at the hands of traffickers and others.

US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men are presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Metig quoted by the AFP said his UN-backed Government of National Accord would investigate the allegations, in a statement posted on Sunday on the Facebook page of the GNA’s press office.

Metig said he would instruct the formation of a “commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice,” the statement added.

The CNN report apparently showing migrants being auctioned off in Libya was shared widely on social media, provoking outrage in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.

The grainy footage shot on a mobile telephone shows a man CNN said was Nigerian and in his 20s being offered up for sale as part of a group of “big strong boys for farm work.”

In the CNN report, a person identified as an auctioneer can be heard saying “800… 900… 1,000… 1,100…” before two men are sold for 1,200 Libyan dinars ($875).

The image made from a footage aired by US television network CNN last week shows live auction in Libya where black men are sold off for as little as $400.
The image made from a footage aired by US television network CNN last week shows live auction in Libya where black men are sold off for as little as $400. 

Around 1,000 people took to the streets of Paris on Saturday to protest against slavery in Libya, according to French police.

Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also chairman of the African Union, on Friday called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a “despicable trade… from another era.”

Senegal’s government expressed “outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil” that constituted a “blight on the conscience of humanity.”

African migrants from nations including Guinea and Senegal as well as Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Gambia make the dangerous crossing through the Sahara to Libya with hopes of making it over the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

But a testimony collected by reporters has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gangsters, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces, while many end up stuck in the unstable North African nation for years.

More than 8,800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, which is also compiling evidence of slavery.

AFP