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US Election: Nigerian-Americans speak on their choices

Nigerian-Americans consider immigration, healthcare and stability to vote in the Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election.

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Some Nigerian-Americans and other immigrant voters in the US revealed that immigration, healthcare and stability were their determinant factors in the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday.

They disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden gets tense.

Chairman of the Organisation of the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN), Mr Olayinka Dan-Salami, said the choice was obvious for him: Biden.

READ: Nigeria needs $5billion for National Broadband Plan – Chairman, BISC 

“A president who doesn’t like immigrants, who just wants to send everybody back home, is not a president we should be voting for.

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“Trump is waging an immigration war against Nigerians that is borne of out of jealousy of the accomplishments of Nigerians in this country.”

He also criticised Trump for downplaying the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed no fewer than 230,000 lives in the U.S.

READ: Why Nigeria is Africa’s biggest Crypto market

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A Pakistani immigrant, Mr Nasir Raza said although he liked Trump’s performance on the economy, he voted for Biden’s liberal stance on immigration.

Mr Basil Njoku, a leader of the Nigerian community in New York, decried Trump’s “poor handling” of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said would make the election difficult for him.

Njoku, who disclosed that he lost seven members of his community to the virus, wondered why the president politicises wearing of masks.

“Something as simple as wearing a mask is being politicised (by Trump). What is the big deal in wearing a mask?

READ: China’s economy bounces back from COVID-19 slump, with a growth of 4.9% in Q3 2020

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“If I wear the mask, I protect you; you protect me. It’s a question of civility; it is something that is honourable to do.

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“But when it is politicised, the people see it as a human rights issue, but they forget that other people’s rights start where theirs begin,” Nkoju said.

Mr. Ugo Nwaokoro, former Deputy Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, said he voted for the candidate that would properly handle the pandemic and foster good relationship between U.S. and Africa.

“I cannot tell you whom I voted for, but I can categorically tell you I did not vote for Trump,” Nwaokoro, a Democrat, said.

Mr. George Onuorah, a community development advocate and philanthropist, said political and economic stability and immigration were the key issues for him.

”Being an immigrant from Africa, I am also looking to see that those of us here who have relatives that are willing to come to this country legally are not denied the opportunity to do so,” he said.

Onuorah said he was also looking forward to stronger diplomatic and economic ties between Nigeria and the United States under whoever wins the election.

A Trump supporter, Maria Estavez, 60, defended the president’s immigration policy and his handling of the pandemic.

She said, “No sane President would allow illegal aliens into his country to perpetrate crime, that is what Trump stands for.”

She also argued that Trump did what any other president would do to control the virus.

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Another supporter, a Nigerian, who asked not to be named for fear of political victimisation, endorsed Trump’s tough stance on law and order.

READ: Buhari approves free business name registration for 250,000 SMEs

What you should know

Nairametrics had reported in February 2020, when the Trump administration cut the inflow of foreigners using visa restrictions through executive orders.

He added Nigeria to the list of countries on migrant visa restrictions, citing national security concerns.

If re-elected, he plans to limit asylum grants, outlaw ‘sanctuary cities’, expand travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and impose new limits on work visas.

Biden, on the other hand, seeks to expand opportunities for legal immigration, including family and work-based visas as well as access to humanitarian visa programmes, among others.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Around the World

Biden to appoint Nigerian-born attorney as Deputy Treasury Secretary

Nigerian-born attorney, Adewale Adeyemo has been selected by US President-elect, Joe Biden as Deputy Treasury Secretary.

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United States President-elect, Joe Biden, has selected a Nigerian-born attorney, Adewale Adeyemo, as the Deputy Treasury Secretary.

This was disclosed by Biden on Sunday, according to Wall Street Journal.

Adeyemo, who is a former senior international economic adviser during the Obama administration, will serve under former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who Biden plans to appoint to lead the US Treasury Department.

Adeyemo’s appointment is one of many key cabinet positions Biden is expected to announce in the coming days.

What you need to know

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Born in Nigeria, Adeyemo was raised in California where he obtained a bachelor’s degree before proceeding to Yale Law School for his legal education.

Before his appointment into the Obama administration, Adeyemo worked as an editor at the Hamilton Project, then served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to Jack Lew in the United States Department of Treasury.

He later worked as the chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and also served as the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Elizabeth Warren.

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In 2015, he was appointed to concurrently serve as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

He went on to become the first president of the Obama Foundation.

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Canada extends travelers’ restrictions to January 2021

The Canadian Government has extended a temporary travel restrictions for all travelers seeking entry into the country.

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Canada to receive over 1.2 million immigrants in next 3 years, Canada invites fresh 3,500 candidates to apply for permanent residence, Canadian Study Permit: Nigeria ranks 8th highest receiver in 2019, Canada invites 4,500 Express Entry Candidates, as cut-off score drops to 470, COVID-19: Canada shuts borders to ALL countries except US

The Canadian Government has extended the mandatory isolation order and temporary travel restrictions for all travelers seeking entry into the country, except the United States, to January 2021.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, on Sunday.

In a statement seen by Nairametrics, he explained that the travel restrictions for US citizens and foreign nationals arriving from the US would remain in place until December 21, 2020 and might be extended at that time.

READ: Apple, Google launch COVID-19 exposure notifications in phones for contact tracing

The decision was taken to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the disease in Canada. Blair said: 

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“Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is my most important responsibility. We have introduced a number of policies to keep Canadians safe but must remain flexible and adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation, while keeping your health as our top priority.

READ: Four ways Nigerian government can minimize impact of COVID-19

“The ability to align US and international travel extension dates, as well as the Mandatory Isolation Order, beginning on January 21, 2021 will enable the Government to communicate any travel extensions or changes as quickly as possible and provide certainty for Canadians, US and international travelers.

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“In addition, the Government is amending its order and creating a framework for considering applications from high-performance amateur sport organizations seeking to hold International Single Sport Events.”

To be considered, applicants are expected to include written commitments of ongoing support from provincial/territorial and local public health authorities and provincial/territorial governments, as well as a robust plan to protect public health and the health of participants.

READ: Football: Lyon lost €36.5 million in the 2019/20 financial year

The authorization would be issued by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who has recently come into close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, should continue to quarantine or isolate for 14 days. At all Canadian ports of entry, the final determination on a traveler’s admissibility is made by border services officers who base their decision on the information presented and available to them at the time of entry,” he added.

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READ: Over 600 masts at the risk of being demolished by NCC.

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Quick Facts

  • The Department of Canadian Heritage will determine which foreign nationals can receive accreditation to enter Canada to participate in an International Single Sport Event.
  • An International Single Sport Event includes World Championships, Olympic or Paralympic Qualifications, as well as World Cups.
  • A high-performance amateur athlete is defined as an athlete competing at the international level and affiliated with his or her country’s national sport federation.

READ: COVID-19: NAFDAC to grant emergency approval for necessary products

What you need to know

In March, 2020, the Government introduced several measures, including prohibitions and restrictions on discretionary and optional travel from the United States (US) and all other countries, to minimize the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians.

The measures included the requirement for all travelers entering Canada to quarantine or isolate for 14 days.

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Trump administration acknowledges likely election loss, agrees to transition with Biden

Trump administration seems to have officially commenced the transition to Biden after weeks of delay and law suits.

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President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital

The Donald Trump administration seems to have acknowledged the loss of the presidential election as the General Services Administration (GSA), after weeks of non-cooperation has informed President-elect, Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

According to a report from CNN, this was disclosed in a letter from the Administrator of DSA, Emily Murphy on Monday afternoon, November 23, 2020.

READ: Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

The letter is the first major step taken by the Trump administration to acknowledge its defeat in the presidential election after over 2 weeks that Joe Biden was declared the winner.

Monday’s letter is coming hours after Michigan formally certified the election results and some Republican senators had called for the transition process to start. This is also as more lawsuits from Trump’s legal team were dismissed, and Georgia election earlier certified on Friday and Pennsylvania set to be certified as well.

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READ: U.S. budget suffers a deficit of $3.1 trillion in 2020, as pandemic slams the economy

While making the decision to cooperate with the President-elect, Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision out of fear or favoritism.

She said, “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official, including those who work at the White House or GSA, with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

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READ: Why Gold prices are skyrocketing after a Joe Biden win

The letter signifies Murphy’s formal acknowledgment of Joe Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. This action will allow the transition process, which has been delayed for some weeks, to officially commence, ensuring that current administration agency officials cooperate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.

For some weeks after his announcement as the winner of the presidential election, the Biden team who have been denied access to government information and agencies by the Trump administration, had worked informally to kick start the transition process with some actions which include setting up a coronavirus task force, consulting with public health officials outside the government, meeting with top corporate leaders, amongst others.

READ: US Election: China congratulates Joe Biden

The delay in ascertainment meant that Biden’s team was denied access to government data and could not make contact with federal agencies, nor spend $6.3 million in government funding now available for the transition. A Biden official said the most urgent need was for the transition to be given access to Covid-19 data and the vaccine distribution plans.

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The Biden team is expected to have access to additional office space inside the agencies and the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and Cabinet appointments.

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Moments after the letter was sent, Donald Trump tweeted thanking Murphy for her work and affirming the decision to start the transition.

READ: How the United States plans to control the African Development Bank

His tweet reads, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused — and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

This letter from GSA now means that the Biden team will now have access to government agency staff with regular briefings in addition to details of administrative issues that need to be addressed immediately.

The President-elect and his vice will also be receiving classified intelligence briefings as white house officials will start to cooperate.

It can be recalled that Murphy, who was appointed by Donald Trump, had refused to go ahead with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory. She has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.

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