By Emily Betz, International News Writer
The signing of President Donald Trump’s executive order on January 27 barring refugees was a signature felt around the world. The order called for an immediate suspension of all refugees entering the United States for 120 days and a ban on all Syrian refugees entering the country for an undetermined amount of time. The countries whose refugees were specifically banned in the order are seven Middle Eastern countries, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia, all of which have a Muslim majority.
On the night of Friday, January 27, hundreds of people were detained at airports waiting to hear their fate. Thousands more were denied the ability to board their planes heading to the United States.
These numbers include individuals working for the United States government, green card holders, students returning from home, and refugees. Hundreds more American citizens gathered outside Federal Judge Ann M. Donnelly’s court in Brooklyn as she became the first judge to stay deportations under President Trump’s executive order.
The world has not been shy in voicing their opinion on this unprecedented executive order. However, some like Geert Wilder of the Netherlands have spoken out in support of Trump and emphasizing that they would do the same. Mr. Wilder spoke out on Twitter, “Well done @POTUS it’s the only way to stay safe + free. I would do the same. Hope you’ll add more Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia soon.” However despite a few supporters, most speaking out on the matter do not share their optimism towards the ban, but rather views it as a threat to human rights and global order.
Spokesperson of the United Nations, Stephane Dujarric, said they hoped “these measures are temporary as refugee protection needs have never been greater.” A petition in the United Kingdom reached over a million signatures on the parliament’s website in an attempt to ban Trump from visiting the UK. The UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, who met with President Trump just before the signing of the executive order, made a statement in which she said her country did not agree with the order.
Germany, France, Turkey, and Canada are just a few more countries who have been vocal about the ramifications of what they consider a blatantly discriminatory policy.
While the United States had just reached its landmark goal of 10,000 refugees in August of 2016, Germany and some other countries in the European Union have seen that number reach almost one million. These countries still have their doors open to refugees but have also seen a rise in anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment in recent years. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, used the opportunity to speak out to the world saying, “to those fleeing persecution, terror and war. Canadians will welcome you. Regardless of your faith.”
President Trump countered in a statement to the press saying the ban was, “not a Muslim ban, as the media has falsely reported.”
However, with all seven countries being primarily Islamic countries, and his previous statements during his campaign to have a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” many leaders are apprehensive to accept this view of his executive order. Iran’s Ministry of Foreign affairs spoke out saying the order was “a clear insult to the Islamic world, a violation of international laws,” and, “a great gift to extremists and their supporters.” They also stated that Iran would “take reciprocal measures in order to safeguard the rights of its citizens”.
Many corporations have also reacted to Mr. Trumps ban. Both American and global corporations have taken steps to counteract the effects of this executive order, which these corporate leaders have said is unjust.
Starbucks has vowed to hire 10,000 refugees in light of recent events. Uber created a 3 million dollar defense fund to support employees affected by the ban. Airbnb offered free housing to refugees affected by the ban.
Just over a week later, protests still continue to breakout across the country and around the world.
Many in the global community have spoken in this time of uncertainty pleading for the United States to offer its support rather than a turned back. David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee for Refugees said in a statement, “at a time when there are more refugees than ever, America must remain true to its core values. America must remain a beacon of hope.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 7th print edition.
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