President #Donald Trump’s orders to ICE to increase surveillance of arrivals to the country and an incident in Kansas have had an effect on the image of the #United States that could change how the country is seen as a future destination for international tourists and businesspeople.
Stops and checks
While the Administration, at least in the courts challenges, does not call the new orders a ban on Moslem immigration to the country, the delays and treatment of arrivals from overseas has presented another image to the world..
The news that former world champion boxer’s Mohammed Ali’s second wife and son were stopped by #Border agents at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport on their return to the United States and asked about their surname and religion did nothing to allay fears that the orders are directed at a specific group.
As reported by the Guardian and other newspapers, the widow and son were #American born and hold American passports, so there was no real reason to block their entry into the country and certainly not for reasons of their religion.
The Guardian quoted him as saying “I just have this bad feeling that there is a deliberate attempt to undermine US citizens and US Muslims,” he said. “If I am a US citizen, I should totally be treated the exact same way as anyone else that is a US citizen.” Sadly, Ali was not the only Moslem stopped in this way and strangely, the stops have also included other unsuspected people..
Authors and personalities
Bestselling children’s author Australian Mem Fox was stopped and questioned on the latest of her many trips to the United States over decades and questioned by border agents. Her stop amazed and worried fellow Australians who wondered if they too may be stopped in their future trips to the country.
Even the Academy awards were affected when 21 year old Syrian filmmaker Khaled Katib was not allowed to enter the country for the ceremony in which his film ‘The White Helmets” was a nominee for an Oscar. This despite the fact he had previously been granted a visa to attend the event.
The shooting of two Indians in which one was killed at a bar in #Kansas last Wednesday where, according to the BBC and other agencies, the alleged killer yelled at the two engineers “Get out of my country” as he shot them made headlines around the world and particularly in India..
There is now a move by some in India, beginning with the father of the dead victim, for Indians to boycott the United States. The widow of the victim has also asked for the incident to be labelled as a hate crime.
These are only some of the incidents reported over the last week that affect the image of the United States internationally.
This is a matter that should worry the month old Administration because the bad publicity caused to the country internationally by these incidents can potentiality affect the country as a tourist and business destination for the international market.
These issues also highlight that the concentration on security is such that the Oval Office is creating an atmosphere of paranoia against foreigners in some parts of the population. This is not a healthy sign for the country.
“Making America great again” was a useful campaign slogan, but does this justify the air of suspicion that is now leading to incidents such as these?
As the new work week begins, it is a question that all politicians in the United States should ask themselves, beginning with the man who now sits in the Oval Office.