On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning people from several countries — including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Sudan — from entering the United States for 90 days. The measure also suspended admission of all refugees for at least 120 days and from Syria indefinitely.
The decision sent shock waves around the world, throwing U.S. immigration policy into chaos. In 2016, the State Department issued 617,752 immigrant visas and 10,891,745 nonimmigrant visas. About 5 percent went to people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Here's how the affected countries are beginning to hit back at the legislation, along with reactions from around the world:
- In Iraq, Renas Jano, a member of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, told journalists that “after the U.S. president's decision to stop granting visas for Iraqi citizens, it is very likely that Iraq will stop granting U.S. citizens entry visas.” This decision, he noted will largely impact American soldiers, diplomats and companies that do business in the country. "The reciprocal decision to stop giving visas will cause damage to a lot of people as there are large U.S. forces here to support us in our war against [the Islamic State], in addition to the presence of diplomatic personnel and U.S. businessmen." He noted that Iraqi students would also be affected. Fellow Iraqi lawmaker Majid Chenkali, a Kurdish Sunni, told reporters that his country should respond with similar visa policies for Americans. “It should be an eye for an eye,” he said.
Though nothing has been decided yet, CBS News reports that the U.S. ambassador to Iraq has warned that the Iraqi government is considering banning all American passport holders. That would include contractors working across the country.
- Iran issued a statement Saturday morning calling Trump's executive order “a flagrant insult to the Muslim world, especially the great Iranian nation.” Iranian officials also took aim at the idea that the measure would keep Americans safer. “It will be recorded in the history as a great gift to extremists and their sponsors,” the statement read. Iran said it will retaliate by limiting visas to Americans and that it is closely monitoring the short-term fallout from the move and is considering “appropriate legal, consular and diplomatic measures.”
- The United Nations urged Trump to reconsider his ban. “The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the U.S. resettlement program is one of the most important in the world,” the organization said in a statement.
- France attacked Trump's decision as isolationist. French President François Hollande told reporters that Europe must unite and provide a “firm” response to the executive order. “When he refuses the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we have to respond.”
- Germany has taken in more than 1 million refugees and migrants since 2015. The country's leaders condemned Trump's executive order. “The United States is a country where Christian traditions have an important meaning. Loving your neighbor is a major Christian value, and that includes helping people,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at a news conference in Paris. “I think that is what unites us in the West, and I think that is what we want to make clear to the Americans.”
- Theresa May, prime minister of Britain, refused to say whether she supported the executive order.
- Sudan called Trump's decision “very unfortunate,” especially in light of “historic steps” to lift sanctions for cooperation on combating terrorism. Just weeks ago, the Obama administration agreed to lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against the country. It also removed financial sanctions, thanks to Khartoum's cooperation in fighting Islamic State and other groups.
- In the wake of Trump's executive order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed Canada's commitment to resettling refugees, saying that Canada "will welcome those fleeing "persecution, terror and war regardless of your faith."
- Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon agreed.
- Norway's foreign minister tweets in solidarity:
- In a Facebook post, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg expressed concern about Trump's executive order. “We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That's who we are. Had we turned away refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla's family wouldn't be here today.”
- The Church World Service released a statement signed by more than 2,000 faith leaders decrying the “derogatory language that has been used about Middle Eastern refugees and our Muslim friends and neighbors. Inflammatory rhetoric has no place in our response to this humanitarian crisis,” they wrote. “The U.S. Refugee Resettlement program has been and should remain open to those of all nationalities and religions who face persecution on account of the reasons enumerated under U.S. law.” Signers included the Revs. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; John C. Dorhauer, president of the United Church of Christ; and Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops.
Several prominent Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, have not issued statements. We will continue to update.