In response to President Trump’s new Executive Order to reinstate the suspension of the USA’s refugee resettlement programme and establish a temporary travel ban on people from six majority-Muslim countries, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:
“President Trump’s determined efforts to slam the door on those fleeing the very terror he claims to be fighting will be remembered among the darkest chapters of US history. The idea that these measures are in the interest of national security does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny.
When it comes into effect on 16 March, the new travel ban will block entry to the US for citizens from six of the seven countries named in Trump’s original order, with people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya facing a 90-day suspension of visa processing.
Iraq will be removed from the list of countries affected, because of the country’s role in fighting terrorism alongside US forces.
The revised order will keep in place a 120-day suspension of the refugee program, but it will no longer identify Syrian refugees as subject to an indefinite ban.
“This new Executive Order simply reinstates many of the most repellent elements of its predecessor. It tramples on the values the USA has long claimed to stand for and threatens to dash the hopes of thousands of refugees who were due to be resettled in the USA,” said Salil Shetty.
“Removing the ambiguity about permanent residents is simply an attempt to evade further judicial scrutiny. The anti-Muslim rationale behind this Executive Order should be evident to anyone familiar with Trump’s long campaign to spread fear about Muslims.
This will make nobody safer
“These are families that have escaped out of the rubble of Aleppo, or fled the bombs and the famine closing in on Yemen. They are people fleeing a security threat, and they deserve protection.
“These measures will make nobody safer. Instead they could play directly into the hands of violent extremists claiming that the US government is at war with Islam.
“The publicity circus surrounding President Trump’s every move must not distract from the fact that longstanding human rights commitments in the US are being badly eroded. The new Executive Order is wrong-headed and counterproductive, and must be resisted at every step.”