US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban and curb on refugee admission sparked a global backlash. It is highly confusing and utterly condemnable. Refugees, visa holders and permanent US residents are all among those
On the other hand, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a statement declaring that the entry of green-card holders is in the national interest. He said such individuals would be allowed into the country barring any significant evidence that they pose a serious threat to public safety and welfare.
Nobody seems to be aware about the full extent of executive order. Even Trump’s aides are giving conflicting interpretations of its reach. Two of his top aides, strategist Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, had some explaining to do. Another Trump aide said the order added a new step to re-entry for some green card holders. Yet another aide said the status of such permanent legal residents would be clarified later.
The fallout from the order was swift. US allies from UK to Germany condemned the move and major international companies said it threatened to strangle the free flow of workers and commerce.
Trump showed no sign of backing down. He told fellow Republicans who criticized him to mind their own business. He said that senators should focus their energies on IS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III. “This is not about religion—this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said pushing back against the international uproar that followed his action. “There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”
Silicon Valley executives were fierce in their criticism and blasted Trump’s order. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, an immigrant from India, called the policy ‘painful’ and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella talked about the immigration’s positive impact on the company and on world.
Jeff Immelt, General Electric Co’s chairman and CEO said he would continue to make voice heard with the new administration. Starbucks Corp CEO Howard Schultz said the company plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years around the world. Amid the chaos at airports in the US and in other countries in the wake of Trump order, the courts went into the breach, with no fewer than three federal judges seeking to block parts of it temporarily. The judges intended to prevent people stopped from entering the country from being sent back home, and to let most of those who were stopped enter the US.
Trump fired the acting attorney general Sally Yates after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries. Though the White House insisted the program’s implementation was running smoothly and affected only about 109 people on a day when 350,000 travelers entered the US, two Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, warned that the measure may not succeed.
And they are apparently right in their assessment. The move risked spurring anti-American sentiment and turning into a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. The reports emerged that order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security The order was badly framed and poorly implemented. It needs thorough review and appropriate revisions.