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Schwarzenegger: US immigration ban is 'crazy'

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Schwarzenegger: US immigration ban is 'crazy'
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia
14:28 CET+01:00
The former governor of California and Austria's most famous immigrant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has spoken out against President Donald Trump's executive order which temporarily bans travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries coming to the US.

He told US TV station Extra that the order was “crazy” and enacted too hastily.  “I think the real problem is that it was vetted badly. If they would run this by the Justice Department and Homeland Security and had the lawyers really study and focus on it and give it some time to do it the right way…”

"I know what he's trying to accomplish - his fear about people coming in from other places, causing harm to the country.”

Schwarzenegger, 69, said he was once in the same position as those seeking to come to America. “To go and ban people who have a green card, that means that the United States of America has given you permission to work here permanently and you are on the way to permanent citizenship… I was in that position."

“Students who have been studying at Yale or Harvard, from universities all over the country, they've gone home to the Middle East for a few days, for vacation or to visit their parents, and now they're being told they can't come in?”

“It's crazy… and makes us look stupid when the White House is ill-prepared to put this kind of executive order out there.”

Previously Schwarzenegger said that for the first time since becoming a US citizen he decided not to vote Republican in the recent US election. There had been some speculation that he may be appointed the US ambassador to the Vatican, but his criticism of the ban may mean that's now less likely.

Meanwhile, Trump has fired the acting US attorney general after she questioned the legality of his immigration ban.

The ban, which bars citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, has sparked street protests in the US and abroad.

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