By Andrew Williams
Jeremy Corbyn is heading up the campaign in Parliament for the proposed state visit of US President Trump to be postponed. Yesterday (1 February) Corbyn raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, having previously written to Theresa May urging her to withdraw the invitation.
Corbyn has denounced Trump’s travel ban on Muslims and refugees as a breach of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Since Trump’s inauguration he has rushed out a series of reactionary Presidential Executive Orders.
- US government agencies have been instructed to waive or delay implementation of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. NGOs that perform or promote abortions will now be denied access to public funds. The Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines have permission to be built – ignoring the need for the US to tackle climate change.
- On immigration, Trump has ordered the first steps of constructing a wall along the US – Mexico border, the government will employ 5,000 additional border patrol agents and 10,000 additional immigration officers. The latter will target undocumented immigrants for removal.
- Finally there is Trump’s Muslim travel ban, which is a 90-day ban of nearly all permanent immigration from seven majority Muslim countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen), with provision to extend the ban indefinitely, also with the entry of refugees into the US suspended for 120 days.
In response there has been an outpouring of protest in the US and in other countries, including hundreds of women’s marches and demonstrations against his Muslim travel ban.
In Britain more than one hundred thousand people have mobilised for a number of anti-racist protests and the women’s march, with thousands expected to participate in the 4 February No Muslim ban protests across the country.
The petition on the government’s website, opposing a state visit by Trump, had reached 1.8 million signatures by 2 February, guaranteeing a debate by MPs, which will take place on 20 February.
There is a growing international movement against Trump which can be expected to respond to his reactionary proposals. His ‘America First’ protectionist trade agenda is already clashing with Mexico and the new administration is developing a more hostile stance on China. Further initiatives that attack women and migrants are anticipated.
In Britain the Corbyn leadership of Labour is giving its full support to the growing movement of protests.