Australia will be requesting an exemption for its dual national citizens from the US immigration ban imposed by United States President Donald Trump.
The controversial ban was enacted by executive order from the new president on Friday.
The ban excludes refugees and nationals from seven muslim majority countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen – from entering the United States for at least 90 days. It includes people who hold dual citizenship in one of those countries along with any other nation.
It is unclear whether more countries will be added to the ban list.
The ban has been met with howls of protest and derision, both from within the US and abroad, over its discriminatory nature and the immediate effect it has on people; including, for example, separating families who live in the US who include one or more people holding such citizenship.
By Monday, the United Kingdom and Canada both announced that they had secured for their dual national citizens an exemption from the extraordinary new measure.
Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, announced on Monday that she too was seeking such an exemption.
“I have directed our officials in Washington DC to work with US officials to ensure any preferential treatment extended to any other country in relation to travel and entry to the United States is extended to Australia,” she said, according to Fairfax Media.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was careful to not cast a direct opinion about the radical US policy.
“It’s not my job as Prime Minister of Australia to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries,” Turnbull told reporters on Monday.
He then added about Australia: “Our commitment to multiculturalism, our commitment to a non-discriminatory immigration program is well known … so that’s where we stand. That’s our policy. But our borders are secure. That is the bottom line,” he said.
ILLUSTRATION: Amykins via Pixabay