Travel ban: Australians divided over Donald Trump's controversial order

By @shauryaarya1 on
Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, US November 9, 2016. Reuters/Mike Segar

In the wake of the highly talked about phone call between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Donald Trump, the former made attempts to persuade the US president to not oppose the refugee settlement deal. As part of the deal, US was to resettle a number of refugees from Nauru and Manus Island.

Until now, there had not been a clear indication whether Trump stood opposed to the deal or had merely complained about it. As reported by Fairfax Media, an official briefed on the call said Trump “hated” the refugee deal and was “not going to do it.”

A poll, according to AAP (via The Australian), showed that more than half of the Liberal and National voters supported copying the US president’s order of denying entry to people from Muslim-majority countries. In a poll that considered more than 1700 people overall, around 44 percent supported implementing measures of a travel ban while 45 percent stood in opposition to it. According to an Essential poll of 1000 people, 41 percent people were in favour of a ban while 46 percent opposed it.

The support for the travel ban was higher among coalition voters – with 48 percent people in favour of it. As part of the travel plan, which was implemented after Trump signed an executive order, people from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – would be denied entry to the US for 120 days.

Nationals MP George Christensen said there should be no discrimination based on one’s religion or race – but instead, he added, on one’s nationality. "I think we need to have a look at those countries where there's a high level of radicalism, a high level of terrorist activity, and do pretty much similar to what they're doing in the US," he said, speaking with ABC radio on Tuesday. "There's always going to be some exceptions to the rule, I accept that, but perhaps that's the way to go."

Meanwhile, Labor MP Sam Dastyari opposed the plan, highlighting Australia’s diversity. "We are a nation of migrants, we are a nation who should be proud of being tolerant of understanding and of embracing people who want to come to this country," Dastyari said.

He called for Turnbull to be more vocal regarding the “horrendous attack on minorities” that stemmed from Trump’s travel ban. "This polling today is an opportunity for the prime minister to show some leadership," Dastyari said.