Travel ban: Australia 'working closely' with Donald Trump administration, Julie Bishop says

By @shauryaarya1 on
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks during a joint press availability at the 2015 Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations in Boston, Massachusetts October 13, 2015. Reuters/Faith Ninivaggi

Australians who have dual-citizenship with countries the United States has on its banned list are being denied entry. In light of this, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she has been “working closely” with the US.

This comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s executive order to halt the entry of citizens from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen into the country for at least 90 days. Trump has also put the US refugee program on hold for 120 days. “Extreme vetting” measures will be adopted by the Trump administration for citizens seeking entry from these seven countries.

Bishop said the “consular staff are working closely with the United States officials.” However, she has not confirmed whether Australians were being denied entry to the United States as a result of the ban. “The Australian government is working very closely with the administration and the United States officials and we want to ensure that Australians continue to have access to the United States as they have in the past and as people from the United States have access to Australia,” she said. She added she has had “two very constructive conversations” with US Vice President Mike Pence who has “reiterated the significance of the Australian and United States relationship.”

Speaking with Nine Network's 60 Minutes (via News Corp), former Prime Minister Bob Hawke described Trump’s orders as “a fact of life.” He added, “I think we should hold our hand out to Trump and say, 'You've been elected, we accept that, and we want to talk confidently with you'.” He added that if Trump “is isolated by definition he's going to rely on his own attitude and resources and ideas.”

Meanwhile, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said “there has got to be more” to Trump’s decision to resettle asylum seekers in Australia’s offshore detention centres. “Why would Donald Trump agree to this,” Hanson said, speaking on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program. “There has got to be more to this, just look at it. He’s put bans on people coming into the country from certain countries, he is also halting the refugee program in America.”

Independent senator Derryn Hinch also weighed in, referring to the ban as a “sick joke” of the Statue of Liberty’s message “send us your humble masses.” He added he was “surprised” that Trump had agreed to commit to his predecessor’s refugee agreement with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “In that climate, yes, I am surprised that he did the deal with the refugees here, whether it’s 1000 or 2000 we do not know,” he said. “We don’t know what to do in reply, or how much it costs, we don’t know yet.”