The Muslim immigration ban signed into law by US President Donald Trump which restricts refugees and immigrants of several Muslim-majority countries from entering America has sparked growing protests in cities across the US, including New York and Washington, DC.
Thousands gathered outside the White House, the US capital, while more than 1,000 protesters assembled in New York City’s Battery Park to demonstrate against Trump’s executive order, which places harsh restrictions on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Speaking to Al Jazeera in Battery Park, Hizam Mohammed Saleh, a 45-year-old of Yemeni descent, said: “I came here because I want peace for everyone, for the immigration law to be the same for everyone.”
Jessica Taube, 37, brought her children to the protest. “I don’t believe in borders. We’re all humans and we all share the same world and deserve a place to be happy and healthy,” she told Al Jazeera.
In a related development, several countries including long-standing American allies criticised the measures as discriminatory and divisive.
Trump has received knocks from governments from London and Berlin to Jakarta and Tehran who spoke out against his order to put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily ban travellers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for the measures and “does not justify putting people of a specific background or faith under general suspicion”, her spokesman said.
Her sentiments were also echoed in Paris and London; “Terrorism knows no nationality. Discrimination is no response,” said French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, while his British counterpart Boris Johnson tweeted: “Divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality.”
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