The US president will travel to the UK on Friday, the 13th of July. Despite concerns about Donald Trump’s controversial policies, the state visit will go ahead as planned. Trump is due to meet Theresa May and the Queen. He will also visit Scotland. Huge protests have been organised for London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Theresa May invited Donald Trump when she met him shortly after his inauguration in 2017. Although the US and the UK are close allies, there has been much resentment about the upcoming visit. Voices have become louder, saying Trump should not be given a state visit. Almost 1.9 million people have signed a petition, raising concerns that Trump could embarrass the Queen and should therefore not be allowed to visit the UK, as well as protests against his discriminatory views.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that the US president was not welcomed in the capital. Khan justified his position with Trump’s divisive agenda. Besides meeting the British Prime Minister Trump will be greeted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. The Queen has met several US presidents before, but no other meeting faced so much opposition as the upcoming meeting with Donald Trump.
Why does Trump’s visit spark so much criticism?
Trump’s policies, moreover his entire administration have been heavily criticised since his inauguration. Donald Trump did not impress by a deliberate agenda. Rather, he continues to spread false information and openly expresses his misogynist and racist views.
The US administration has been under pressure to end its family separation policy on the Mexican border. In order to “make America great again” Trump vowed to stop illegal border crossings. His zero tolerance policy split families as children have been placed in detention centres while parents are facing criminal prosecution. Between the 5th of May and the 9th of June 2,342 children have been separated from their parents. Trump: “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally – which should happen – you have to take the children away.” He further blamed Democrats for the separation policy. But as a matter of fact no law has been passed by US Congress demanding the separation of families. The policy was introduced by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Donald Trump signed a new executive order on the 20th of June, which is supposed to end family separation. However thousands of children are still held in detention centres and have not been reunited with their families. Democrats and human rights activists are highly concerned, because separation could have a traumatising impact on the detained children. Officials claim that children younger than four years old would not be separated from their parents, but non-profit organisations say that babies and toddlers under three have been separated as well. Reporters and lawmakers, who were allowed to visit some of centres, were shocked that minors were held in cages. Referring to Trump’s zero tolerance policy Senator Jeff Merkley said, “They call it zero-tolerance, but a better name for it is zero-humanity. And there is zero logic to this.”
Trump’s policies have been subject of extensive criticism in the UK as well. Labour lawmaker Gavin Shuker told Theresa May: “President Trump has locked up 2,000 little children in cages and is refusing to release them unless he is allowed to build a wall, he has quit the United Nations Human Rights Council, he has praised Kim Jong Un’s treatment of his own people and he has turned away Muslims. What does this man have to do to have the invitation that the prime minister has extended revoked?”
May described Trump’s family separation policy as wrong and deeply disturbing. She said that the UK does not agree with Trump’s agenda but also emphasised the longstanding relationship with the United States whilst pointing out that she will discuss several issues with President Trump.
JAN Trust VS Trump
JAN Trust strongly condemns the separation of families. We believe that families, seeking asylum, should be kept together. We are highly concerned about the health and wellbeing of minors, which are currently being detained as a result of Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy. We know how important family is, working to empower and integrate women from the BAMER community. The stress that has been put on mothers and their children is unbearable.
We encourage peaceful protests on Friday, because Trump’s policies are cruel and humiliating.
We cannot turn cruelty into virtue. Donald Trump is spreading Islamophobic hate. His racist agenda is increasingly being normalised with neo Nazi groups marching in London and elsewhere. Racists feel encouraged because the political discourse supports their views.
Now is the time to speak up and stand in solidarity with Muslims, refugees, women and all others, who are being targeted. Trump’s agenda cannot become the norm!