Australia is asking US president Donald Trump to ensure its citizens are exempt from the executive order impacting seven Muslim-majority countries, after US officials moved to reassure Canada and the UK.
On January 27, Trump signed an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” As a result, many countries including the Australian government requested that the US provide some reassurance that their citizens would not be impacted. However, this latest move by Australia is being seen as “double standards” by some experts, who believe that like the UK, the Australian government is not speaking out against an “injustice.”
Kon Karapanagiotidis, founder and CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Center (ASRC), said that the Australian government is demonstrating complete and total absence of leadership and that Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull saying the country has a non-discrimination policy and stands up for diversity, is “profound hypocrisy.”
”In December 2016, the Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton tried to ban all refugees arriving by boat from entering the country. So, we have our own little Trump here in Australia, and when our PM is silent and pursuing a similar line to that of Trump, you begin to see the disgust and shame in our country,” Karapanagiotidis told Sputnik.
“The PM wants Australian nationals to be looked after, but we have a fascist policy, not seen since the 1940s. The president of the free world, Donald J. Trump has closed its doors on those who need the most help. Many Australians are disgusted by this, however our government has not condemned Trump, like the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel did.
“Theresa May and Turnbull are willing to sacrifice the lives of refugees, simply for trade,” he added.
Karapanagiotidis doesn’t believe that trade is the only reason why the Australian government refuses to speak out against Trump’s new policy, referring to when refugees come by sea, the government will lock them up. This is the same for the UK, according to Karapanagiotidis.
“Look at what the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron did with Brexit, he pandered to racists and the UK is now ruined. Its deeper then trade, these are people who claim to be people of faith and values and it just seems to be about financial acceptance,” Karapanagiotidis said.
‘Like a Locomotive’
Trump and those who support the new policy believe however that this is not about trade or relations, but it’s about security and securing the country’s borders.
Many US citizens have come out in support of the new executive order and said that it makes sense as the country has to maintain its borders, making this one of the ways in which it can do that.
Some also believe that Trump’s new move shows he is not afraid to fulfil what he promised he would do when campaigning.
“It shows me that he means what he says, he’s just unafraid. He’s just going ahead like a locomotive, and I like him more and more every time he does something,” Judith Wilkenroh, 72, a retired social-services worker from Maryland, US said.
Other Trump supporters welcomed the order, saying that it was not up to the US to take care of the world’s needy.
“We’re not the world’s Social Security office. We’re not here to take care of people, I understand that people need help, but there are other ways besides bringing them here,” said Jim Buterbaugh, from Western Montana.
Actually, these views are supported by the majority of US citizens. A new Rasmussen Reports poll has shown that 57 percent of likely US voters were in favor of the new policy, whereas 33 percent opposed it.
‘About Winning Votes’
Karapanagiotidis said that this treatment by the Western governments towards refugees is not about protecting the country’s welfare and maintaining security, but its all about winning votes.
“Before these western governments look at the human rights records of Iran and Zimbabwe, they need to take a closer look at their own. A British person, for example is more likely to die at home than at the hands of ISIS [Daesh].
“It’s not about protecting our way of life, it’s about winning votes,” Karapanagiotidis told Sputnik.
“Distract people by saying we are keeping them safe. Turnbull and May will be condemned in history for what they have done,” he concluded.