Can Refugees/Visitors Lay Claim On USA?

The fundamental question is whether the refugees and visitors to USA can have undisputed claims to enter USA as a matter of right.


by N.S.Venkataraman

( January 30, 2017, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The recent order of US President Donald Trump banning people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering USA for 90 days and suspending admission of refugees for 120 days and indefinitely barring refugees from Syria appears to have developed hornet’s nest in several countries.

Critics ready with their response :

Of course, the critics of Donald Trump, both inside USA and in other countries ,have ignored the fact that Trump was elected as US President with majority support based on several promises that he extended during the election campaign, including restrictions on entry of refugees into USA. Obviously, this decision of President Trump to ban the entry of people from countries with majority muslim population and Syria has been done with the objective of preventing the entry of the extremists and terrorists in the guise of refugees.

Terrorism has destabilized the world :

It is now well recognized all over the world that terrorism largely based on religious ground , is destabilizing world peace and harmony and hundreds of innocent people have lost their lives due to terrorist attacks. Apart from India, several European countries have been the victims of terrorist attacks and there is near unanimous view amongst responsible citizens all over the world that terrorist forces should be defeated at any cost and the world should be relieved from the grip of violent prone extremists with narrow and partisan outlook.

Several opinion polls carried out in recent times in many countries including Australia and France have revealed that vast segment of people in these countries think that the entry of terrorist elements in to the country should be blocked and the government should take extreme care and caution to ensure that appropriate screening would be carried out.

Seemingly a temporary measure:

Of course, there are millions of muslims around the world who disassociate themselves with the extremist stance taken by some extremists in the name of jehad and Islam. Several critics of Trump have said that such peace loving muslims should be distinguished from those with terrorist links and should not be treated on par with terrorists.

It has to be noted that President trump has not banned the entry of people from seven muslim countries permanently but only for 90 days and suspended the admission of refugees into USA for 120 days. Can anyone deny the right of USA government to take some steps to prevent the entry of undesirable elements into the country and ensure that the country would be free of terrorist attacks ?.Is it not appropriate that any country take steps to protect it’s interests, if in it’s view and judgement that entry of some people with suspect background could pose social issues and unrest in the country? In such circumstances, is it not right for USA to screen the people entering USA with care and caution?

Experience of Europe :

The recent entry of large number of refugees into Europe have already caused considerable unrest in Europe , particularly in Germany with many Germans finding fault with the German government for being liberal in admitting the refugees without ascertaining their background and motive. Many observers are convinced that Europe is bound to face considerable social, political and economic issues in the coming years due to the influx of large number of refugees, which would decisively change the demography of the region.

Obviously, President Trump must have taken this decision to restrict the refugees into USA after seeing the problems faced by Europe due to influx of refugees and problems faced by countries like India due to terrorist attacks.

Can refugees lay claim to US soil ?

The fundamental question is whether the refugees and visitors to USA can have undisputed claims to enter USA as a matter of right.

The critics of Donald Trump seem to assume that USA should be “all things to all people at all times”.

What is particularly surprising is the opposition not only from the pledged critics of President Trump in USA and other countries but also from the business houses in USA , which seem to think that restrictions on visitors to USA from some countries would affect their business interests. Obviously, such business houses are more concerned about their business prospects rather than the security issues in USA.

Over reaction of CEO of Google :

It is certainly not appropriate on the part of Google CEO Sundar Pichai to over react impulsively to the order of President Trump , without exercising the caution and analysis that is expected from a corporate leader, when he said that “it will bring barriers to bringing great talent to USA”.

Certainly, the objective of Trump’s order is to address the security concerns of USA and not to prevent entry of talent to USA. Obviously, the temporary nature of the order has to be noted and further instructions should be awaited with regard to the long term mechanism of screening the entry of refugees and visitors to USA , some of whom could be talented.

President Trump’s order also mean that it is an effort to erase the impression all over the world that USA is a country free for all. It is surprising that Google CEO has failed to understand this .

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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