EU migration chief may call Trump team over Muslim travel ban

“This is in the mutual interest of both EU citizens as well as the citizens of the United States,” Avramopoulos said. [European Commission]

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is considering calling the US government to find out how EU citizens will be affected by US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

EU sources told that Avramopoulos was mulling over whether to call Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly later on Monday (30 January).

The travel ban covers nationals from seven large Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). It was received with confusion and mixed responses from European countries.

“We are getting conflicting input,” admitted European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas.

He explained that Commission lawyers needed to assess how the presidential order, issued on Friday, would hit European citizens with dual nationality from one of these countries.

The attorneys will scrutinise the implementation of the order, in order to estimate its impact.

Avramopoulos could ask Kelly, a retired general and one of the first members of the Trump Administration confirmed by the Senate, for clarification on issues such as implementation.

EU sources said that member states had reacted differently to the travel ban.

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The US embassy in Germany advised dual nationals from the targeted countries not to travel to the US. Britain did not warn its nationals with passports from one of the affected nations against travelling to America.

The travel ban provoked protests by leaders of European countries, including France and the UK, and Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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“This is the EU, and in the EU we do not discriminate on the basis of nationality, race or religion, not only when it comes to asylum but in any of our other policies,” Schinas said.

The issue is expected to come up during the EU leaders’ summit to be held in Valletta on 3 February.

*EURACTIV initially reported that the Commissioner was “expected” to call the US government. After being contacted by the Commission, the decision was made to alter this article to say he was “considering” calling.

Trump ban: EU ‘will never discriminate on grounds of race, religion or nationality’

The European Commission today (30 January) vowed never to discriminate against people because of “their race, religion or nationality”, in an implicit condemnation of President Donald Trump’s ban on persons from seven Muslim-majority countries travelling to the US.

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