US President’s Donald Trump’s order banning travelers from selected majority-Muslim countries from entering the US has taken effect. Politicians and rights groups have responded to the controversial order.
Airlines across the globe are turning back would-be passengers from countries affected by a US immigration ban that bars them from entering the United States.
Leading political and business figures moved quickly to condemn the ban that US President Donald Trump put in place on Friday keeping citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. The executive order has also been applied to people with permanent residence permits, known as green cards.
France and Germany decry order, May won’t speak out
In Europe, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel decried the order during a press conference with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in Paris. Gabriel said Trump’s refugee policy contradicted America’s Christian traditions of “love thy neighbour.”
During the same press conference, Ayrault said the policy “can only worry us,” and that “welcoming refugees who flee war and oppression is part of our duty.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May refused to condemn the policy. After being pressed at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara to give her opinion on Trump’s order, May said: “The United States is responsible for the United States’ policy on refugees. The United Kingdom is responsible for the United Kingdom’s policy on refugees.”
In the Middle East, Trump found praise from Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, who likened the visa ban to Israel’s walled southern border.
President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea 🇮🇱🇺🇸
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 28, 2017
In the United States, Democrats called the measures “un-American.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted late on Friday, “Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded has been stomped upon.”
There are tears running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight. pic.twitter.com/X6q40dMCsN
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 27, 2017
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would challenge the constitutionality of the executive order.
“There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security,” Lena F. Masri, the group’s national litigation director. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on Saturday “To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada”
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
Blanket bans on Iranians traveling to the US
Iran, one of the nations whose nationals won’t be allowed into the USA, vowed to take reciprocal measures by banning Americans from traveling to the country. In a statement carried by state television, Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the order an “open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation in particular.
Media reports suggest that Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film “The Salesman” has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, will be banned from attending the ceremony in Hollywood in about a month’s time.
Trita Parsi, the president of NIAC, tweeted: “Confirmed: Iran’s Asghar Farhadi won’t be let into the US to attend Oscar’s. He’s nominated for best foreign language film…#MuslimBan”
Taraneh Alidoosti, the film’s star and Iran’s most prominent actress, had already vowed to boycott the awards before Trump’s order had gone into effect.
US internet giant Google reportedly called on staff who might be affected by the ban to return to the United States as quickly as possible, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was “concerned” by the new US travel ban.
“We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat,” he wrote. “We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That’s who we are.”
A study from the US Cato Institute found that foreigners from the seven nations affected by the immigration ban have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on US soil between 1975 and the end of 2015.