Changes in Us Immigration Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 30th January 2017.

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Photo of Ed Miliband Ed Miliband Labour, Doncaster North 6:01 pm, 30th January 2017

My hon. Friend puts it very well, and anticipates what I am going to say. What message does this send to a quarter of the world’s population? What message does it send to Muslims around the world? It sends the message that they are not wanted in the United States because of their religious faith. What more of a recruiting sergeant, as my hon. Friend says, could there be for ISIS and others?

I was saying that we have seen the dreadful results of the order over the past few days, and I will briefly mention some of them. One of the first people detained, I believe for 19 hours, was an Iraqi interpreter who had worked with the US military for 10 years. If that is not a perverse result, I do not know what is. There are instances of green card holders being handcuffed and held in detention for 16 hours. A five-year-old was apparently detained for several hours, and then there is the issue—it is welcome that the Foreign Secretary clarified this—of dual citizens, including our own, such as the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon and Sir Mo Farah, being caught up in this.

As bad as the substance of the Executive order—“cavalier” is not putting it nearly high enough—is the appalling way in which the US Government have gone about this. It is the action of a tin-pot dictatorship. I think that the Foreign Secretary acknowledged in his statement when responding to a question from one of my hon. Friends that people had been caught on the hop. This draconian measure was imposed without even consulting the people responsible for its implementation.