In this Sept 2017 file photo, a US flag is waved outside the White House in Washington. (CAROLYN KASTER / APAP)
WASHINGTON - The White House announced on Friday that the United States will restrict immigration from six new countries, four of which are African countries, a controversial move that has already drawn criticism.
The United States will ban citizens from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria from applying for visas that can lead to permanent US residency, according to the new rule which is expected to go into effect on Feb 22.
The new restrictions - which apply to Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania - do not apply to people on tourist, business, or other non-immigrant visas from those countries
Citizens from two other countries, Sudan and Tanzania, will be refrained from attending the diversity visa lottery that randomly grants green cards to immigrants from underrepresented countries annually.
The White House claimed in a statement that the newly banned countries have failed to meet the US national security requirements.
Meanwhile, the new restrictions do not apply to people on tourist, business, or other non-immigrant visas from those countries, according to the statement.
The new countries will be added to a list of seven nations, most of which are Muslim-majority, facing the Trump administration's travel ban issued in 2017.
Immigrant advocates attacked the latest restrictions, calling them an "African Ban."
The latest move was seen as another sign of the United States closing its doors to immigrants under the Trump administration.
HONG KONG NEWS