Sunday, 29 January 2017

#MulimBan: British passport holders blocked from entering US

Theresa May

British citizens travelling to America on UK passports will be blocked from entering if they have dual-citizenship with countries targeted in Donald Trump's ban on refugees.
The US State Department said that Britons with dual nationality with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen will be stopped at the US border for the next 90 days.
However, in a separate development last night, a US judge issued a temporary halt on the deportation of people who had already arrived in the US with valid visa but were being denied entry at border control.The revelation about Britons sent Downing Street scrambling for a response and has triggered uproar among MPs. 
Politicians said tens of thousands of Britons could be caught up in the border chaos as Mr Trump's new immigration rules hit holidays and business trips. 
It was unclear last night whether Theresa May was aware that the rules change would affect Britons despite spending hours meeting Mr Trump and his top staff in the White House on Friday. The US State Department said: "Travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.
“Those nationals or dual nationals holding valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas will not be permitted to enter the United States during this period. Visa interviews will generally not be scheduled for nationals of these countries during this period.”
Mrs May had twice refused to publicly condemn Mr Trump's ban on refugees from those seven countries earlier in the day during a press conference in Turkey. 
“The United States is responsible for the United States’s policy on refugees," she said after being pressed a second time to condemn the border tightening. Tory MPs expressed their "heartbreak" at the development last night and called for Mr Trump to urgently overturn the policy. 
Nadhim Zahawi, the MP for Stratford-on-Avon who was born in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, said he feared he would be caught up in the ban. 
"Just think of all the families who will feel like second-class citizens now," he told the Telegraph
"I love the US, I love everything it stands for, but I cannot believe this is happening to British citizens in 2017. 
"Words cannot describe my sadness. I feel devastated. I would like clarity and a rethink on this. It is a terrible message to the world. I am heartbroken."
The Foreign Office, Number 10 and the Home Office all refused to comment when asked about the rule change on Saturday. 
A Government source said: "We are working really closely with the State Department on this."
Latest figures show that more than 250,000 people who were born in Iraq, Iran and Somalia have dual British nationality.
No figures are available for those born in Syria, Libya, Sudan or Yemen.
There was chaos and confusion at airports in the US on Saturday, as customs officials sought to implement the executive order that prevents entry to Syrians indefinitely, all other refugees for four months and bans travellers from seven Middle Eastern countries.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Mr Trump said as he signed the order at the Pentagon. “Don’t want them here.”
But in a fresh development on Saturday night, a federal judge in Brooklyn put part of the order on hold when he ruled that the US could not deport people after they had landed at US airports with valid visas.

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