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t says a lot about this fraught moment in U.S. politics that President Donald Trump's move to slap immigration re- strictions on almost a quarter of Africa's population transpired with lit- tle more than a murmur inWashing- ton. But amid the final throes of the Senate impeachment trial and the chaos of the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, theWhite House reinforced its virtual border wall Fri- day when it added six countries to the ad- ministration's list of nations subject to either sweeping travel bans or strict immigration limits. Trump's proclamation would "bar most citizens of Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan from coming to work and live in the United States," TheWashington Post re- ported Jan. 31. "Two nations, Tanzania and Sudan, would be banned from applying for the visa lottery, which issues up to 50,000 visas a year worldwide to countries with his- torically lowmigration to the United States." The six newly designated countries join seven other nations - most of which are ma- jority-Muslim - already subject to travel bans. The nations on the current list encompass close to a quarter of the more than 1.2 billion people living in Africa. Nigeria happens to be Africa's most populous country, as well as its largest economy. The Trump administration justifies these maneuvers as "common-sense" steps to pro- tect U.S. national security, arguing that the vetting procedures in place in these countries are insufficient in helping U.S. officials deter- mine security risks such as passport fraud or links to extremist groups. However, it leaves open the possibility of rescinding the bans should those countries do enough to satisfy American requirements. Curiously, the bans bar migration to work and live in the United States but not tourist visits - though those admissions have dropped, too, under the Trump administra- tion - which calls into question the adminis- tration's logic in restricting travel on national security grounds. The president's critics see this as part of a thinly veiled white-national- ist, immigration-restrictionist agenda cham- pioned by theWhite House since Trump took office. "Trump's travel bans have never been rooted in national security - they're about discriminating against people of color," Sen. Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., said Sunday on Twitter. "They are, without a doubt, rooted in anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideolo- gies." In remarks that reverberated in 2018, the presidentdisparaged Haiti, El Salvador and several African nations as "shithole coun- tries." According to the NewYork Times, in a 2017 private meeting aimed at reducing im- migration levels to the United States, Trump noticed the considerable number of Nigerian immigrants on visa overstays andmused to his advisers that they would never "go back to their huts" if permitted to enter the United States. That casual bigotry belies the fact that African immigrants to the United States, and especially Nigerians, rank among the most highly educated arrivals. OnTuesday, standing alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Nigerian ForeignMin- ister Geoffrey Onyeama told reporters in Washington that his government was work- ing to satisfy U.S. criteria. "We have been able to tick most of the boxes with regards to lost and stolen passports," as well as beef up in- formation-sharing with Interpol, Onyeama said at a briefing. Pompeo said he was "optimistic" that Nigeria could be removed from the restric- tions list and indicated that U.S. concerns were stoked in part by the prevalence of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, whose insurgency has destabilized parts of the country and neighboring regions in Cameroon and Niger. In Nigeria, however, there's more pro- nounced anger and disbelief. "We are a giant of Africa - the biggest population of black people in the world," Nigerian Sen. Mo- hammed Sani Musa toldThe Post, "so this is unfortunate. It's harsh. And I hope it's tem- porary." OnTwitter over the weekend, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and a po- litical rival of Nigerian President Muham- madu Buhari, urgedTrump "to consider adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties, rather than target the entire Nigerian population," echoing a grievance among some in Nigeria that local authorities gave the Trump administration enough cause to impose such toughmeasures. -T HE W ASHINGTON P OST News India Times February 14, 2020 2 Opinion I Published weekly, Founded in 1975. The views expressed on the opinion pages are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of News IndiaTimes. Copyright © 2020, News IndiaTimes News IndiaTimes (ISSN 0199-901X) is published every Friday by ParikhWorldwide Media LLC., 35 Journal Square, Suite 204, Jersey City, NJ 07306 Periodicals postage paid at Newark, N.J. , and at additional mailing offices. 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Road, 29 Adarsh Society Ahmedabad 380009 Tel. 26446947 F ax. 26565596 Writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post Trump'sAddress ShowcasesWhy PeopleHateHim. AndLoveHim By Henry Olsen P resident DonaldTrump inspires devo- tion and hatred in nearly equal meas- ures. His Thursday address celebrating his acquittal by the Senate showed exactly why that's the case. It is easy to see why people hate him so. The speech wasn't a speech at all. His ram- bling, disjointed talk touched on somany topics, with somany half-finished asides, that a GPS couldn't have steered you to the right destination.When he doesn't have a teleprompter, he is easily the most inarticu- late president in history. He's also incredibly unreflective. He re- mains utterly blind to the moral problems on full display in the rough transcript of his infa- mous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Rooting out corruption in an important U.S. ally is in the public in- terest. Telling that ally's leader to work with your personal lawyer to investigate your po- tential opponent is not. He doesn't see that, and he never will. Trump is vindictive beyond belief. Let's not kid ourselves; successful politicians know how important it is to cultivate and re- ward friends and punish enemies. But dem- ocratic politicians also know how to put personal feelings aside at key moments or conceal their hate. Trump invoked adver- saries such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and characterized them as "vicious andmean" and targeted them for a host of other attacks. He spoke about the need to work for the common good, but it's hard to see how he can ever work with Democrats again. And yet, he is right about somany things. The attacks on him from the moment he won were unprecedented, vicious and cruel. People did leak to the press andmake up facts to bring himdown. He has been sub- jected tomore vituperation and scorn than any president in decades, if not inmore than a century. He has been under intense, direct personal attack for so long, it's almost hard to remember that this isn't normal political behavior. That's on his enemies, and it's de- stroying our political culture. His fans love the fact that he's a fighter, andThursday's talk showed howmuch he loves to fight. He regularly referred to his legal team and congressional defenders as "warriors" and spoke of friendships being forged in battle. Most politicians ultimately want to be loved and are not capable of with- standing the type of barrage Trump endured. They find a way tomake it stop, whether by changing the topic or by striking a deal with their tormentors. Trump said no other presi- dent could have withstood this level of vit- riol, and he might be right. But while Trump also wants to be loved, he won't buy that love by looking weak. And so he fights, tenaciously and with everything he has. Trump's fans love that because they, too, feel under attack. Conservative Christians believe, with good reason, that progressives hate them. Blue-collar former Democrats know that many think they are "de- plorables." Republicans have been called stupid and evil for so long that it just seems normal to sit and take it, seething inside but calm as far as the world can tell.When Trump fights back, he's fighting back for all those people, and they love him for it. Trump haters argue that none of that mat- ters, that his manifest deficiencies are so great we should ignore his accomplishments and his virtues. But that's precisely what's in dispute. Senate acquittal means the people themselves will weigh all of his faults and all of his virtues together andmake their choice. That's how it should be in a democracy. Trump is often said to be what we get when entertainment and politics meld. There's some truth to that, so let me con- clude with an analogy to a movie that came tomind as I listened toTrump: "10 Clover- field Lane." -T HE W ASHINGTON P OST