Changes in Us Immigration Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:17 pm on 30th January 2017.

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Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Social Democratic and Labour Party, Foyle 8:17 pm, 30th January 2017

I join the others who have commended Edward Miliband and Nadhim Zahawi for the way in which they secured and introduced this debate. Many important points have been made and much has been agreed on, but there is clear disagreement on some points.

My issue with the Prime Minister is not so much that she was holding Donald Trump’s hand when she met him on Friday; it was that she stayed her hand when it came to responding to the Executive order. A clear, unequivocal response should have been given and none was available. That sent a dangerous signal to many people who are worried, fearful and angry, both here and across the world. We have heard hon. Members refer to the fact that the Prime Minister visited the Republican congress before she visited the President. I do not believe that the terms in which she spoke as Head of Government in such a partisan setting were appropriate. She commended them for having swept all before them and for renewing America with strength. Donald Trump’s idea of renewing America with strength was demonstrated the next day by this Executive order. This is the drive-by prejudice, xenophobia and racism that pass for governance in the Trump age, and this President now has the fastest-ever invitation for a state visit, which appals and disgusts many people. None of the excusers here today can answer that point.