English on US immigration

Ignoring demands (if he heard any of them) to immediatelyjump up and down, express indignation and somehow do something about the US immigration furore Bill English waited until this afternoon to comment.

RNZ: English on Trump order: ‘We don’t agree with it’

The prime minister says he disagrees with the United States’ entry restrictions on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, but has not made his views known to President Donald Trump.

Mr English has been under mounting pressure to condemn Mr Trump’s immigration order.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy this morning urged him to make a statement – “if anything to assure the Muslim New Zealanders living in New Zealand that we’re going to look after them”.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei told Morning Report the order was “grossly unjust” and Mr English needed to join other country leaders and show “moral leadership”.

Many on social media joined the demands for a rapid response from English, regardless of it’s futility.

Bill English said today he would not implement such a ban in New Zealand and disagreed with it, but he had not been in touch with Mr Trump to make his views clear.

“We wouldn’t implement the kind of policy that is being implemented and we don’t agree with it.”

When asked why he had not criticised Mr Trump’s order, Mr English said, “I just have”.

“We’re not being meek at all. President Trump has got to deal with his own issues and his own election promises.”

“We don’t agree with the policy. We have to yet to see just what turns out to be the long-term policy for the US, because this is a temporary measure.”

“It does appear to have created some real chaos in the short term.”

Discrimination was “not the New Zealand way”.

When asked if Mr Trump was “a bigot”, Mr English said it was “for others to decide”.

“It’s not our job to tell them how to run their country.”

There’s nothing New Zealand can do about the US immigration issues.

Labour leader Andrew Little said he expected a stronger response from the Government.

What Little, Turei and others don’t seem to understand is what it’s like being in a position of governmental responsibility. Barking at selected international passing cars with zero bite won’t achieve anything except risk getting offside with other countries.

It’s similar to the demands of others for a particular response from the Government on the UN vote on Israeli settlements.

There’s a bit more to international diplomacy, especially successful diplomacy, than jumping and shouting at the behest of people and groups who don’t have to think about or deal with any repercussions.

There’s absolutely nothing New Zealand can do about the current US immigration policy changes.

What Little and Turei seem intent on is trying to embarrass English as part of the election campaign they have just launched.

A strong leader knows when to keep their mouths shut, and when it’s appropriate to say something.

Previous Post

21 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 30, 2017

    He said that he doesn’t agree with it and that it’s not the New Zealand way-what more can he say ? Trump isn’t going to behave decently because we say so. All we can do is say that we disagree with this treatment of people and that we don’t do that sort of thing here. This is Trump, not a reasonable person.

    Susan Devoy must know that our Muslims will never be treated like that, left stranded in some airport. What will happen to those people’s houses and jobs ? What about their mortgages, insurances, families ? That is not the NZ way-and, as it’s against the US Constitution, it shouldn’t be the US way, either.

    • David

       /  January 30, 2017

      Can you please provide a reference for where this is against the US Constitution?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 31, 2017

        Oh, for Heaven’s sake, have you somehow missed that it’s in the First Amendment or are you trying to be annoying ?

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  January 31, 2017

          Is it?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 31, 2017

            As far as I know-it’s supposed to guarantee freedom of religious beliefs, and, unlike France, this means freedom to believe and practice, not just freedom to be an atheist and not to show one’s religion publicly.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  January 31, 2017

              Try the 14th.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 31, 2017

              No. it’s in the first. It may have been expanded, but it’s there in the 1st.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  January 31, 2017

              The ban appears to be a blatant violation of the 14th Amendment, which states that “no person” shall be “deprive[d] of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” and that the government shall not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” While the 14th Amendment refers to states’ denial of liberty and equal protection, the Supreme Court has long held that equal protection and the liberty clause apply against the federal government as well. Some might question that a 14th Amendment violation is not possible for individuals not under U.S. jurisdiction, but that position is hard to defend considering Trump’s ban discriminates against Muslim refugees who were already on U.S. soil. Clearly these individuals fall under “U.S. jurisdiction” if they are on U.S. soil.

              http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/30/the-case-for-impeachment-donald-trumps-islamophobia-and-the-threat-to-the-constitution-2/

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 31, 2017

              Oh my goodness….I hadn’t read that. I was thinking of the religious freedom one. I would have imagined that a resident would be covered if I had read it (well, I wouldn’t now, of course), and even if they were not literally on US soil, that would be nitpicking if they were flying home. Or so they thought they were doing.Trump has blundered very, very badly.

              What a good thing that it’s spelt out and not just taken for granted as something that nobody would try to do to the people of the country. Germany’s example must be in many people’s minds; Angela Merkel must have known when she made her statement that people would be thinking that Germany had done what she condemned. Trump must not be allowed to get away with this blatant disregard for the law. Next he’ll be trying it with American Muslims whose families have been there longer than his has.

              I know that residents can’t stand for Parliament here, but that’s out in the open, we don’t have PMs making these things up as they go along.

              I keep imagining my mother and stepfather coming home from somewhere and being told that they couldn’t come back into NZ.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 30, 2017

    Apart from anything else, Trump won’t be watching our news.

    • Little and Turei know that, they are in campaign mode after yesterday’s launch.

    • Gezza

       /  January 30, 2017

      That’s why he’s so totally clueless about the issues of national importance to our country like Waikanae’s overgrown macrocarpa hedge. 😕

      • Gezza

         /  January 30, 2017

        I don’t know why there’s a downtick there ? This was serious enough to be in the second segment of 1Ewes. Conflict between property owner’s rights & the rights of adjacent property owners, plus a road & pedestrian safety issue. The Council has had to step in & order a cutback, but this will ruin the hedge planted by the owner’s dad, so there are hisorical & emotional aspects as well. Ideal fare for a comment or two from Sir Alan & other assorted Classic Liberals.

    • No Kitty but the US Embassy will be – so staying out of US domestic politics is the best thing to do especially when you’re a pissant little country out at the edge of nowhere…

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 31, 2017

        Bill English made no attempt to interfere; he made it clear that he is against this persecution and said that it was not the NZ way. He was clear and simple. I am not sure that this is just domestic politics.

        Something tells me that there won’t be a queue to act as translators and risk one’s life by doing so after this.

  3. Gezza

     /  January 30, 2017

    Bill’s got his finger on the pulse here, Good, solid, responsible response to the situation.

  4. Anything Meteri Turei “demands” can be safely ignored – the 10% who listen to her meanderings and rantings already vote Green. Great[politics for Met though – sounds tough and powerful… but will never be in a position to actually carry through her blusterings and rantings..

  5. Gezza

     /  January 30, 2017

    Aljaz TV News picked up on this last night:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mexico-israel-idUSKBN15D003

    Bibi making mischief & stirring things up as usual.

    • Gezza

       /  January 30, 2017

      Sorry wrong place. 😳 Should’ve been media watch. Probably should eat something. 🕶

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 30, 2017

        Haven’t you got some of that humble pie left? You said it was a big one.

        • Gezza

           /  January 30, 2017

          12 inch base. Ate it over 2 days. Personally I think dave way over-ordered.