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Somaliland Pleads To Be Removed From Trump’s Extreme Vetting List
Africa

Somaliland Pleads To Be Removed From Trump’s Extreme Vetting List

Fathi Mohamed, Chief Editor, Bilan Media

Somaliland pleaded with the administration on Thursday to carve the territory out of President Trump’s new extreme vetting policy, but stopped short of agreeing to the kinds of changes that helped get Iraq off the target list.

The territory is a breakaway part of Somalia that has proclaimed its independence for more than two decades.

Saad Ali Shire, the territory’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, said he was pleased with the revisions Mr. Trump made to allow legal permanent residents of the U.S. to enter without problems. That accommodation was not part of the original Jan. 27 executive order. But Mr. Shire said he’ll use the 90-day pause in other visas that Mr. Trump imposed to argue Somaliland shouldn’t be part of the restrictions, which were placed on Somalia as well as Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“As Somaliland and the United States seek to advance shared security and economic interests, immigration policies directed at Somalia must not be applied to citizens of our country,” the minister said.

“During the upcoming 90-day review period established by the revised Executive Order, our government will clarify to U.S. officials its impact on our citizens and advocate for further measures that spare Somaliland from future directives,” he said. “In so doing, Somaliland will also reaffirm our desire for strengthened bilateral relations and official U.S. recognition of Somaliland’s independent sovereign status.”

Iraq had been on the original list of countries targeted, but it was dropped from the new order Monday. Homeland Security officials said that was because Iraq agreed to do better at sharing information on its citizens, and agreed to take back illegal immigrants — including criminals — that the U.S. is trying to deport. Somalia is one of the worst offenders on that score, having refused to take back some 442 illegal immigrants the U.S. was trying to deport between 2013 and 2016.

That’s about three times as bad as Iraq’s record during the same time. As of earlier this year, Somalia was still listed as an “uncooperative” country by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of its refusal to work on deportations.

Source: Washington Post

Fathi Mohamed, Chief Editor, Bilan Media