New Zealand criticises Trump’s immigration ban, Australia abstaina

Wellington, Jan 31 (IANS) New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English on Tuesday voiced his opposition to the US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, while his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull declined to speak publicly on the issue.

“We disagree with it, and we wouldn’t implement it,” English told New Zealand’s TVNZ network, adding that he hopes to have the opportunity to talk about the issue with Trump.

“We’re not scared of anything. What I’m concerned about is the reassurance to people in New Zealand – migrants, refugees – that this is not a track we are going to go down and we do not want them to feel agitated, upset or worried that we could in any way follow this kind of policy.”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declined to speak out publicly against the ban and said only in a brief press conference that “when I have frank advice to give to an American President, I give it privately, as good friends should, as wise prime ministers do.”

Turnbull also announced that Australians with dual nationality – Australia and one of the seven countries – will not be affected by the controversial immigration ban.

“What is important for me to do as Australian prime minister is to deliver for Australians,” said Turnbull, who has been criticized for not emulating other world leaders regarding the immigration ban.

Labelled as “illegal” and “mean-spirited” by the UN, the ban has generated a wave of protests both inside and outside the US, as well as confusion and outrage at several airports in the world where many travellers have been barred from entering the US territory.