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Changes in US Immigration Policy

Part of Us Immigration Policy – in the House of Commons at 5:57 pm on 30th January 2017.

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Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Labour, Doncaster North 5:57 pm, 30th January 2017

I seek leave to propose that the House should debate a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration: the need for repeal of President Trump’s discriminatory, divisive and counterproductive ban on entry to the United States for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the indefinite ban placed on Syrian refugees.

I am supported in this application by Nadhim Zahawi and a number of other hon. Members. This ban has provoked outrage around the world and in our country, and I believe it to be of sufficient urgency and importance to qualify for immediate debate under the Standing Orders of this House. Notwithstanding the statement we have just had, I believe that it is right, given the gravity of the issue, that this House has a proper debate today on these matters, so that Members from across all parties can express their views.

The ban is not an attack on terrorism; it is an attack on those of a particular religious faith: Muslims. It is clearly discriminatory, it represents a repudiation of the 1951 UN Geneva convention on refugees and it will not make the world a safer place—it will make it a more dangerous one. From the exchanges earlier, we can see that there is a host of unanswered questions relating to UK residents who have passports from the countries concerned. Given our close, historical alliance with the United States, it is particularly important that this Parliament speaks up—preferably with one voice—to seek to get this ban revoked. An emergency debate would represent an important opportunity to do this; indeed, it is for an eventuality such as this—a matter of pressing and immediate importance—that the Standing Orders were designed. So I ask you, Mr Speaker, to grant this application under Standing Order No. 24 for an emergency debate.