A motion asking Wandsworth Council to denounce Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order was denied last night.
The US president signed an order last Friday (January 27) suspending the refugee system for 120 and banning anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering America for 90 days, regardless of whether they had a visa or not.
Labour put forward a motion at the council meeting on Wednesday (February 2) calling on council leader Ravi Govindia to write a joint letter of protest with Wandsworth Labour leader Simon Hogg to the US Ambassador setting out the Council’s opposition to the ban.
The newly-elected councillor for Queenstown, Aydin Dikerdem, made a speech outlining the reasons for the motion.
He said “acts of discrimination” like the ban had a global impact, including in Wandsworth.
Cllr Dikerdem said: “We have over 4,000 residents who directly originate from the seven countries Trump has targeted.
“In Queenstown, we have a large Somali community that has made Battersea its home.
“We must recognise how it must feel, to have one’s identity labelled and demonised in this way – the humiliation, the sense of injustice, the insecurity.”
To finish, he said: “We in Wandsworth can and should, lend our voice to the chorus taking off across the country and further.”
However, the motion was denied by the council.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “I share the distress caused by Mr Trump’s divisive and ill-conceived policy.
“Sadly, across the world there are many political leaders who, like Mr Trump, pass deeply unjust laws and persecute people based on their faith.
“This is clearly wrong but it is not the role of local councils to hold foreign governments to account and our residents understand that our attention is focussed on the services they pay us to deliver.”