Labour emergency motion on impact of US #MuslimBan for Barnet's 15,000 residents originating from the 7 affected countries

Barnet's Labour councillors have submitted an emergency motion to Tuesday's Full Council meeting (31 Jan) calling for a debate on the impact that the recent US Muslim ban could have on the 15,000 Barnet residents who directly originate from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: "This ban on people entering the US who are from seven Muslim-majority countries has been widely condemned.

"The policy targets people of the Muslim faith, an act that is immoral, illegitimate, may be unconstitutional and will have the perverse effect of increasing hostility towards the United States and the West.

"We need to understand exactly how this affects the thousands of Barnet residents who directly originate from these countries so we can offer assistance and fight for their rights.

"I hope that the Mayor of Barnet will accept my motion onto the agenda of Tuesday's Full Council meeting."

Ends.

Notes - a copy of Cllr Rawlings' motion follows:

Full Council, 31 January
Emergency motion in the name of Cllr Barry Rawlings
Ban on people from Muslim-majority countries entering the US


Council notes the recent Executive Order from the President of the United States introducing a temporary ban on people entering the US who are citizens of or who were born in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.

Council believes this policy targets people of the Muslim faith, an act that is immoral, illegitimate, may be unconstitutional and will have the perverse effect of increasing hostility towards the United States and the West.

Council therefore welcomes the statements from the UK Government and the Leader of the Opposition opposing this ban.

Council also welcomes the more recent news that this ban will not affect UK citizens travelling from one of the seven affected countries to the US even if they were born in one of those countries.

However, Council notes that the ban will affect UK citizens who have dual nationality with one of the seven countries and who are travelling from one of those countries to the US.

Council notes that according to the 2015 GLA population figures there are approximately 15,000 Barnet residents who directly originate from one of these seven countries: 8,000 from Iran, 4,000 from Somalia, up to 1,000 from Iraq, up to 1,000 from Sudan and up to 1,000 from Yemen.

Council asks officers to investigate how many Barnet residents are actually affected by this ban in practice, including those who may already have plans to travel to the US to visit family and friends, to conduct business or to work, or those just going there on holiday.

Council also asks LB Barnet to offer whatever assistance is appropriate to residents affected, including by liaising with Barnet's three MPs and sign-posting people to advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Council further asks that an update on how this ban affects Barnet's residents is reported to the Policy & Resources Committee as soon as possible.

Finally, Council calls on the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition to jointly write a letter of protest to the US Ambassador setting out Council's opposition to this ban and the impact it could have on significant numbers of people living in Barnet.
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