Trump’s travel ban “absolutely illegal” says “very concerned” PS government

Portugal’s minister for foreign affairs has joined the global outcry against American president Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the US.

August Santos Silva told journalists today that it was “absolutely illegal” in European terms, and a policy that leaves the Portuguese government “very concerned”.

It is “inconceivable to deny the right of entry to people who have residency visas” said Santos Silva, referring to the Syrians, Lybians, Iranians, Iraqis, Somalians, Yemenis and Sudanese who suddenly found their passage into the USA blocked for 90 days on Friday.

But, as he explained, there are still lots of issues to be cleared up.

For example, White House spokesman Reince Priebus claims people from the seven countries in possession of valid green cards (permanent visas) “are not affected”, although they could face “further screening” when they arrive in the US.

Elsewhere, sources contradict this, explains Diário de Notícias, thus Santos Silva said he was still not really in a position to say much more.

However, he said that on the subject of providing shelter for refugees – a number of which are now said to be held up in transit as a result of the ban – “humanitarian law” imposes a “moral and legal obligation”.

“From the Portuguese and European point of view and in accordance with international law, the reception of refugees from country A or B cannot be suspended, even if that country is considered to be insecure”.

Questioned over the position of the US’s many hundreds of thousands of Portuguese residents, the minister added that there was “no sign at all” that any of them should have anything to worry about.

Santos Silva also guaranteed that in the case of any dual Portuguese nationals (in other words, someone who is Portuguese and Somalian) caught up in Trump’s travel ban, the authorities would be ready to “give support” immediately.

The Trump administration meantime has been unrepentant, with the president tweeting: “We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days”.

Sixteen attorney generals however have said they will “use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order”, while elsewhere pundits have predicted the ban will simply incite radical Muslims to further terrorist attacks.

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