Seafarer union Nautilus International is warning of “serious welfare and safety” issues arising from US President Donald Trump’s immigration order.
The executive order on 27 January makes citizens of the seven countries subject to the temporary 90-day ban on entry to the US – Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya has left the international business community scrambling to understand the implications.
In a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, Nautilus secretary-general Mark Dickinson expressed the organisation’s “deep concern” about the effects of the executive order on its members.
“There are serious safety and welfare issues at stake if seafarers are unable to join or leave their ships as planned. Some owners are already being advised not to arrange crew changes in the United States for citizens of the identified countries, including flights with transit through the US, and the already restrictive policies for seafarers’ shore leave in many US ports – we fear – likely to become even more extreme,” Dickinson said.
The letter also said that the fact the order called for a review into suspending the visa interview waiver programme for travellers from 38 countries also presented “worrying implications”.
“I am therefore writing to request that the UK secures the appropriate clarity and safeguards on the rights of British seafarers to shore leave, transit, transfer or repatriation to the US,” the letter said.