US Immigration ban

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US Immigration ban

Trump’s new executive order: US immigration ban 

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  • Donald Trump on January 27 issued an executive order that will deny refugees and immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – from entering the United States.
  • The action puts in place a 90 day block on entry to the US from those seven Muslim majority countries.
  • It suspends the admittance of all refugees to the US for a period of 120 days, and terminates indefinitely all refugee admissions from Syria.
  • It also caps the total number of refugees entering the US in 2017 to 50,000 – less than half of the previous year’s figure of 117,000.
  • The order exempts diplomats and members of international organizations from the ban.
  • It’s unclear how many more countries will be added to the list, but the official said the administration will be “very aggressive” as it weighs how many more countries to add to the list.
  • It calls for the introduction of new screening process for immigrants and a revision of the refugee admission processes.
  • The ban also applies to airline flight crews.

US immigration ban: Cited reasons

  • Trump’s statement said, “This is not about religion, this is about terror and keeping our country safe”.
  • Mr Trump said the countries affected — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen- had previously been identified by the Obama administration as being “sources of terror”.

US Immigration ban

History of US immigration ban:

  • The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882: which banned “skilled and unskilled labourers and Chinese employed in mining” from entering the US for 10 years, was the first significant law restricting immigration to the country.
  • Jewish refugees during World War II: US President Franklin D Roosevelt argued that refugees posed a serious threat to the country’s national security. Drawing on fears that Nazi spies could be hiding among them, the country limited the number of German Jews who could be admitted to 26,000 annually.
  • Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1903: Banned anarchists and others deemed to be political extremists from entering the US after President William McKinley had been fatally shot by Leon Czolgosz(in 1901), an American anarchist who was the son of Polish immigrants.
  • The Internal Security Act of 1950: or the McCarran Act – made it possible to deport any immigrants believed to be members of the Communist Party and the members of communist organisations, which were required to register, were also not allowed to become citizens.

US immigration ban – World leader’s reaction:

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered two of her most senior ministers, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, to call their US counterparts in protest.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke out against the ban, saying the fight against terrorism was no excuse for banning refugees.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country welcomed those fleeing war and persecution, “regardless of your faith”.
  • French President said, “when US rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty”.
  • Iran said it would stop US citizens from entering the country in retaliation.

US immigration ban – Tech industry reaction:

  • Immigrants make up much of the workforce in Silicon Valley and tech industry has long advocated for more open immigration laws in US, saying they need more skilled foreigners to fill technical jobs.
  • Social network, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticised Trump’s actions by saying US is a “nation of immigrants”.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said “Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do”.
  • Sundar Pichai, Google CEO criticised by saying it will create barriers to bringing great talent to the US.

US immigration ban: What next?

  • Opponents of the ‘extreme vetting’ order are planning to launch legal challenges against the ban.
  • Democrats on Capitol Hill are planning to fight the ban by supporting public protests, delaying Cabinet confirmations and trying to reject Mr Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
  • If White House defends its executive order, judges will start to weigh the extent of president’s broad powers in immigration.

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