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The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

T is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery state to pro­tect its sov­er­eign national in­ter­est. The an­nounce­ment by US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump that he will soon de­port up to three mil­lion il­le­gal im­mi­grants, in my view, falls within this purview – that is, as long as it fur­thers US national se­cu­rity in­ter­ests.

The US is the global power. It is also a re­spected mem­ber of the United Na­tions. Be­ing a mem­ber of the UN comes with re­spon­si­bil­ity: The re­spon­si­bil­ity for both civic and po­lit­i­cal rights, hu­man rights, etc.

Most im­por­tantly, the world has be­come a global vil­lage. This means that what­ever Pres­i­dent Trump does must meet the test of time and be con­sis­tent with UN hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­vi­sions and tra­di­tions, norms and rules do­mes­ti­cated in the US codes.

I am of the view that Trump’s an­nounce­ment falls within the purview of a gen­eral state­ment that falls short of specifics.

There are gen­uine refugees in the US; there are eco­nomic refugees; stu­dents with ex­pired visas. It would be in the in­ter­est of the US to qual­ify the ex­act mean­ing of the Pres­i­den­t­elect’s ad­min­is­tra­tive fiat. What the world is be­ing treated to is a blan­ket use of the words “il­le­gal im­mi­grants” with­out qual­i­fi­ca­tion of ex­actly what this means.

In any case, Kenya in its own way has a host of il­le­gal im­mi­grants. This makes the sit­u­a­tion in the US any­thing but unique and it does not war­rant the kind of ex­cite­ment it has at­tracted.

True, the de­por­ta­tion of im­mi­grants is the most ex­treme of the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion’s stated ob­jec­tives. But just how it will be car­ried out is hard to tell. How the US gov­ern­ment fi­nally ac­tu­alises this pro­posal into pol­icy is in­ter­est­ing and the world must wait to see how it will be done. There is a pos­si­bil­ity that its im­ple­men­ta­tion could cre­ate chaos and affect the US’s stand­ing as a global power.

It is in­cum­bent upon the US gov­ern­ment to come clean on this con­fus­ing is­sue. This in­ward­look­ing pol­icy is al­ready af­fect­ing the US’s image glob­ally and un­less ad­dressed could soon affect the US as a global power. If Pres­i­dent Trump goes ahead and im­ple­ments the mass de­por­ta­tions, the US will be­come just like any other coun­try and it may not sur­vive as the global su­per­power.

In my view, this was an elec­tion­eer­ing state­ment from Can­di­date Trump, but he re­peated it on Sun­day as Pres­i­dent-elect.

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