Anger over Trump's travel ban

A number of US technology companies are backing the lawsuit opposing Trump's travel ban. The US president signed a decree last Saturday banning citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. Why these states in particular? the press asks.

Open/close all quotes
Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

Entry ban only affects irrelevant countries

Trump deliberately chose these seven countries because they are insignificant for US strategies, Magyar Nemzet points out:

“Although some media claim that Trump signed his order without consulting lawyers, that doesn't mean he didn't act deliberately. Because all the states affected have no geopolitical influence on the US. Although the threat of terrorism is cited as the main reason for the ban, citizens of Saudi Arabia, a key partner of the US in the Middle East, are still allowed to travel to America. Let us remember that the 9/11 terror attacks were carried out for the most part by Saudi citizens. Similarly, citizens of Egypt, where terrorist networks also exist, can continue to travel to the US. After all, Cairo has long been one of Washington's most important allies.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Schizophrenic foreign policy

Trump's ambiguous attitude towards primarily Muslim states evokes unpleasant memories, Le Figaro writes:

“The choice to target Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian citizens is perplexing when you consider that the United States badly needs these three nations to crush the IS. The fact that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were omitted from the ban makes one wonder if we're not facing a return to the schizophrenic days of [former vice-president] Cheney and [ex-defence secretary] Rumsfeld [2001-2006]: war against jihadist organisations on the one hand, economic and military partnerships with their financial backers on the other. ... The decision to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the telephone call with the leader of independent Taiwan, the brutal chill in relations with Canada and Mexico: everything points to Trump's not quite being able to assess the consequences of his actions.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

EU incompetent and weak

The EU must firmly reject the travel ban, NRC Handelsblad demands:

“The US president and leader of the Western world has made a brutal distinction between the people of a certain faith and others. This is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which the United States has signed. ... Things are developing quickly under Trump. Very quickly. For many allies, too quickly. The European countries' guarded, cautious response to Trump's order did nothing to express steadfast resolve. Until Sunday nothing at all was heard from the European Union as a whole. There could be no better proof of the incompetence of the EU which Trump so loves to criticise.”

The Irish Independent (IE) /

Boycott wouldn't be productive

Donald Trump is the elected president of a large nation and Europe's politicians have no choice but to accept him, The Irish Independent points out:

“World realpolitik dictates that we must make terms with leaders and regimes of which we disapprove and with which we disagree. On that basis calls for the Taoiseach and Irish Government to 'shun' the new US President Donald Trump are not very realistic. These calls ignore that, whatever you think of Mr Trump, he is now the democratically elected leader of that great country. ... But that does not mean we should not speak our minds, especially on issues of justice and human rights. After all, Ireland has worked for decades with other nations to promote human rights.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Businesses must not remain silent

Business leaders should have the courage to protest against the travel ban, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

“Just last week everything was sweetness and light when top managers met with Trump and gushed praise for him afterwards. ... Now some businesses are leaving their cover and criticising the order - some cautiously, others, like the heads of Facebook and Netflix, with very clear words. ... Representatives of traditional industries have so far avoided getting involved. That said, nothing is stopping the car manufacturer Ford, whose headquarters are located in a Detroit suburb with a largely Muslim population, from taking a stance on the issue. Of course, Ford and others have already felt first hand how it feels to be targeted by Trump. But does keeping silent lead to better politics? Silicon Valley has got the ball rolling; other business leaders should follow suit.”

Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Why Silicon Valley is rising up in protest

The fact that companies from Silicon Valley have joined the protest against the travel ban should give Trump pause for thought, Il Sole 24 Ore comments:

“Trump would be well advised to take this into account, because this is not about trade, customs duties or creating jobs in the US. … This is about the crisis of a key principle of American companies: the employees of a multinational company are without doubt citizens of their country of origin, but they are also and above all proud citizens of a large company that by definition doesn't discriminate, that promises meritocracy and equal opportunities and puts the company's identity above all else. … Trump's discrimination against seven Islamic states undermines the basis of the great philosophy on which not just American companies, but America as a whole, has built its reputation: that of being a country that is open to the world.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Trump continuing where his predecessor left off

As far as Kristeligt Dagbladet is concerned the US long since ceased to be a country open to immigration:

“If we take stock of Barack Obama's presidency we see that the travel ban is not a radical break with America's purported openness to foreigners. If it was up to the ex-president who has been elevated to the status of a saint in recent days the US would take in 110,000 refugees this year. That would be a quarter of the number that Denmark took in in 2016 - a year in which the country was attacked from various sides for its border controls, its jewellery law and new, tighter regulations for foreigners. To show things as they really are one must mention the fact that in the course of his presidency Barack Obama broke all the records as regards the deportation of people not welcome in the US. … Trump was elected among other things because he announced that he would deport three million immigrants. He still has a long way to go but his debut makes it clear that he is serious about that.”

24 Chasa (BG) /

Opposition will win out

Trump's immigration ban has created a mass movement campaigning for freedom and equal opportunities, 24 Chasa writes in delight:

“The fierce resistance to Trump's decrees shows that it's not the Iphone or Coca-Cola that make the US a fantastic country, but the freedom it guarantees to each citizen. Its economic success is rooted in freedom, rather than vice versa. The US is a country of immigration in which everyone has the same opportunities. ... In opposing this basic principle Trump has positioned himself against his own citizens. That's why from now on the question isn't who will win, but when Trump will lose. By mobilising those who refuse to let America's basic principles be violated he really will make America great again - just not in the way he imagined he would.”

Hürriyet (TR) /

That's how the separation of powers works

The US judges' ruling that Muslims affected by the decree still have the right to enter the US is good news, writes Hürriyet:

“That's separation of powers for you! Trump has issued a decree that says: 'Muslims can't come into my country.' But the judges stepped in. They said that such a decree is unlawful, we'll tear it up and throw it away. The result? What the judges said will be done. For all those who were puzzled about what separation of powers means: Now you've seen what it is!”

Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Election promises count more than laws

Why did Trump sign the controversial decree? Il Sole 24 Ore wonders:

“Was there an emergency that made the signing of the decree absolutely necessary? Were terrorist attacks being carried out? Had the secret services warned of an imminent threat from the discriminated countries? … Not at all. This was just an election campaign promise based on a law dating back to 1952 that gives the president the power to ban the entry of entire groups of foreigners of a certain nationality if they are deemed to pose a threat. This law was found to be discriminatory and unacceptable and repealed in 1965. But Trump is still using it to justify his decree. A decree that goes against the spirit of the times and the American tradition we have known since the times of the founding fathers.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

President fuelling hatred

The immigration ban will strengthen hatred, not security, writes Zeit Online:

“Technically the order isn't actually a ban on the grounds of religion, but the temporary immigration ban will no doubt be seen as such not only in these countries. So Trump's fundamental motivation for issuing the order has already been reduced to absurdity: the US was supposed to be made safer with this step; the president sees his decree as an appropriate instrument for protecting the country against terrorists. … He is using his supporters' fear of the foreign which was already expressed in acts of violence against Muslims and other minorities in the US during his election campaign. It is - once again - a brutally short-sighted step that is ill-suited to achieving its supposed goals and which will only create the basis for more hatred: both in the US and in the Arab world.”

Daily Mail (GB) /

Muslims must finally denounce terror

The immigration ban is justified as long as Muslims continue to commit acts of violence in the name of their religion and other Muslims fail to denounce them convincingly, the Daily Mail believes:

“Whether Muslims want to acknowledge it or not, extremists commit atrocities in the name of Allah. They do it according to and in observance of their interpretation of their faith. What has led us to this latest executive order is not only Islamic extremists knifing, shooting, stabbing and exploding peaceful citizens in the West, but also the abject failure of the wider Muslim community to denounce these vile acts. It is troubling to many that after each terrorist act there is largely silence from the families and communities that raised the terrorists and from the mosques that they frequented.”