The reality of Donald Trump’s hardline stance on immigration came into
force last night when he ordered a four-month ban on all refugees
entering the US.
The President also singled out refugees from Syria as barred from
entering the country indefinitely, or until he himself decides they are
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic
terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,”
Trump said earlier on Friday at the Pentagon.
“We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people,” he said.
Trump claimed the move would keep America safer, despite evidence which
shows none of the countries on the list have been the source of terror
attacks on US soil since 9/11.
Having given no notice of the ban, it caused chaos for thousands of
Arab-American families who already had family members en route to visit.
That Trump chose Holocaust Memorial Day to make the announcement was all the more upsetting for many Americans.
Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize,
said in a statement: “I am heartbroken that today President Trump is
closing the door on children, mothers and father fleeing violence and
“I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered
through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled out for
Civil rights groups have condemned the order as harmful and discriminatory.
“Extreme vetting is just a euphemism for discriminating against
Muslims,” American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony
Romero said in a statement.
The order temporarily suspends the United States’ main refugee programme
and halts visas being issued to citizens of several predominantly
Muslim countries, including Iraq.
It is expected to affect two programs U.S. lawmakers created a few years
after the 2003 invasion of Iraq to help the tens of thousands of Iraqis
who risked their lives helping Americans.
Trump says the order is necessary to prevent Islamist militants from
coming to the United States posing as refugees, but refugee advocacy
groups say the lengthy screening of applicants by multiple U.S. agencies
makes this fear unfounded.