Changes in Us Immigration Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:13 pm on 30th January 2017.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Scottish National Party, Glenrothes 8:13 pm, 30th January 2017

I begin by saying:

“I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war. I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants—the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life.”

Those are not my words, but the words of a Nobel prize winner. Her name is Malala. She probably knows more than anyone here the difference between true Islam and the poisonous perversion that we see in the hatred of Daesh and others. It is heartbreaking beyond words that the leader of what was once the free world does not know the difference between them.

Make no mistake, however much his supporters and apologists may want to dress it up, Donald Trump has explicitly made the connection between being a Muslim and being much more likely than anybody else to be a danger to fellow human beings. That is offensive not only to Muslims; as a Christian, I find it an offensive, repugnant way of running a country. I have heard people praise Mr Trump for his Christianity. I am sorry, but I was brought up to see the best in everybody, and I cannot see any Christianity in the early days of his presidency. If the lord and saviour whom we both follow was to turn up today at the American border, he would not be allowed in. He would have a Palestinian passport and no valid birth certificate and would not be able to prove that he was a Christian because he had not invented Christianity yet. That is the extent to which the depraved, racist ideologies of one man have poisoned a once great nation.

I heard Government Members complain about repeated references to the Holocaust, but Lyn Brown nailed that point perfectly. There are similarities between how Trump has been talking about Muslims for years and how others talked about Jews in the 1930s. If those similarities are not clear enough for anyone in here to understand, they should not be involved in politics at this or any other level. I found the comments of Naz Shah immensely powerful and I want to say something in response to her quote. They came for the Muslims, and I am not a Muslim. They will come for Jews, and I am not Jew. They will come for the gays, and I am not a gay. They will come for the Mexicans, and I am not a Mexican. But, by God, I will speak up and I will join, hand in hand, with the thousands who are in Whitehall right now and in towns and cities the length and breadth of these islands and across the world.

America is our friend, but Donald Trump will never be my friend unless he mends his ways enormously. Friends sometimes do things that are so abominable that we have to say, “You stop that right now or our friendship is over.” We have to ask the Government what is the price of the continued friendship. If we are not prepared to stop that friendship now, how far down the slippery slope does he have to take us before we say, “No more”? If we go too far, it will be too late to stop. Last week at Prime Minister’s questions, I quoted prose by Robert Burns, but I never thought I would have to quote the same words again. He said that that whatever damages society, or any least part of it, “this is my measure of iniquity.” This is an iniquitous action by an iniquitous President, and I will never cease to speak out against it.