Irish Politician Calls for Removal of U.S. Immigration Pre-clearance Over Refugee Ban

Image courtesy of Katherine Zappone

President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries has sent shockwaves around the country and across the globe. Ireland, one of the United State’s closest allies, is reviewing U.S. pre-clearance locations at Dublin and Shannon airports in response to Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban refugees from entering the U.S.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, an American-born Irish politician, called for the removal of U.S. immigration officers in pre-clearance facilities, meant to streamline the entry and exit of U.S. travelers into the country.

“We need to determine whether our constitution and the international treaties we have signed up to, that those laws operate in context of Irish soil in terms of prohibiting those policies of discrimination against nationalities, and also people of particular religions, that Donald Trump has implemented,” Zappone argued. She is joined by five organizations in calling for a review of this policy, including Amnesty International Irelandthe Irish Refugee Council and the Irish Council of Civil Liberties. Ireland is one of six countries that has U.S. pre-clearance stations, a list which also includes Aruba, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny confirmed that he “asked for a complete review of the pre-clearance facilities in Ireland, in respect of the three departments dealing with this, so we can be absolutely clear about the importance of it.” Kenny will meet President Trump during the traditional St. Patrick’s Day visit, stating, “it’s more important now than ever before to be able speak face-to-face with President Trump to explain to him the matters of importance for us here.”

This would be a huge setback for the two million travelers who use the service every year but would be an effective signal of dissent to the Trump administration and its harmful and exclusionary actions.