Liberia’s vice president, then-Senator Jewel Howard Taylor calling for the teaching of ethics in schools.
NEW YORK – There is no credible and existing report or clarification that the United States government has denied an entry visa to Liberia’s vice president Jewel Howard Taylor. Like every other person visiting the United States, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor is subject to obtaining a visa and that would also include all members of her delegation.
Globe Afrique’s outreach to concerned authorities revealed that there is no reason to deny the Liberian vice president a visa if she meets the conditions established for the type and category of visa she would need to visit the United States. After, the Liberian vice president was recently in the United States in 2017. Before that, she visited the United States as a seating Liberian senator on numerous occasions in the last 10 years.
According to standard policies and protocols, “diplomats and other foreign government officials traveling to the United States to engage solely in official duties or activities on behalf of their national government must obtain A-1 or A-2 visas prior to entering the United States. They cannot travel using visitor’s visas or under the Visa Waiver Program. With the exception of a Head of State or Government—who qualifies for an A visa regardless of the purpose of travel – any other official within his or her country’s government and their purpose of travel determines whether they would need an A-1 or A-2 visa.”
Close or immediate family members of diplomats and government officials receive A-1 or A-2 visas, with few exceptions. Personal employees, attendants, or domestic workers for diplomats and government officials (holding a valid A-1 or A-2 visa) may be issued A-3 visas.
To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, one must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.
The specific duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the U.S. Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws.
Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require the appropriate visas and do not qualify for A visas. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization or person is not in itself the defining factor in determining if one is qualified for an A-1 visa.
It is not immediately clear if Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor’s alleged intended travel to the United States to attend the UN Women conference meets the condition of traveling on behalf of the national government of Liberia to engage solely in official activities for the Liberian government.
It is also important to note that the UN Women conference would not be considered as governmental in character or nature, as determined by the U.S. Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws if the invitation to the Liberian vice president for such conference was not extended to the government of Liberia but rather to vice president personally.
Under such circumstances, the vice president is subject to the same consular screening as everyone else, and that might take some time as well as be based on the discretion of the consular officer, who normally receives several visa applications from other travelers for processing.
Since taking over government, the Weah–Howard Taylor administration has had no known problem with the Trump administration even though the U.S. government had made it clear that countries that voted to shame the United States during the most recent United Nations’ General Assembly’s resolution condemning the U.S. and Israel, because of the Trump administration recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, would run afoul of US hospitality including in the allocation of aid.
During the vote in late December 2017, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted “The vote is in.” After the nonbinding vote, Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted afterward. “65 Countries refused to condemn the United States, and 128 voted against us.”
Ambassador Haley and President Trump had warned US aid recipients that dissing America at Turtle Bay could cost them. “Let them vote against us,” Trump said the Wednesday before that Thursday’s vote. “We’ll save a lot, we don’t care.” And Haley tweeted: “We’re taking names.”
Of the countries that voted against America Thursday, 121 received US foreign aid last year, for a combined total of $21.8 billion. It is doubtful all of them will suffer, but look for UN budgets, and the minor consequences, inconvenience, and problems others will face.
Liberia, a traditional ally of the U.S., carelessly voted against the United States during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Since that vote in December 2017, incumbent president George Manneh Weah is yet to distance his administration from the diplomatic misjudgment of the previous Liberian administration.
However, there is no manifest reason or signal as to whether Liberian government officials are or will be denied entry to the United States on the basis of Liberia’s United Nations General Assembly vote.
According to reliable Washington, DC sources, the Trump administration would seek to have an amicable and beneficial working relationship with the Weah-Howard Taylor administration. Vice President Howard-Taylor is the divorced wife of former Liberian president Charles Taylor who is jailed in the UK for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil conflict in Sierra Leone where he is accused of supporting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).
According to a source who spoke on condition of abnormity, the United States does not punish individuals for alleged crimes committed by their family member or others. Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor is not accused of any known wrongful act in Liberia or elsewhere so far other than being the ex-wife of Charles Taylor who was known to have multiple wives.