Press Statement on US Travel Ban
The US Administration issued a Press Statement on Friday, January 31st this week, putting Eritrea in the second tier of countries for which “overseas issuance of immigrant visas is suspended” for certain of “their nationals”.
The GOE has consistently opposed “automatic asylum” and other misguided measures invoked by certain countries in the past 20 years for ulterior reasons of “strategic depopulation” against Eritrea. The GOE had in fact lodged legitimate protests against previous US Administrations that followed similar policies in 2004 and 2009 respectively.
The current announcement does not, apparently, stem from these considerations. Although couched in purely technical terms, it singles out Eritrea without justification to send a negative signal. The GOE thus expresses its dismay at this unfriendly act which runs counter to the Administration’s pronounced policy of constructive engagement to redress past wrongs.
Ministry of Information
2 February 2020
The Reasons why Eritrea is on the US Travel Ban, Proclamation
(i) Eritrea does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics. Eritrea does not issue electronic passports or adequately share several types of information, including public-safety and terrorism-related information, that are necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States. Further, Eritrea is currently subject to several nonimmigrant visa restrictions. Eritrea does not accept return of its nationals subject to final orders of removal from the United States, which further magnifies the challenges of removing its nationals who have entered with immigrant visas. Eritrea has engaged with the United States about its deficiencies, but it also requires significant reforms to its border security, travel-document security, and information-sharing infrastructure. Improvements in these areas will increase its opportunities to come into compliance with the United States Government’s identity-management and information-sharing criteria.
(ii) The entry into the United States of nationals of Eritrea as immigrants, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government, is hereby suspended.