Friday was Holocaust Memorial Day, an event President Trump acknowledged with an apparently heart-felt statement on the horrors, bigotry and prejudice seen during World War 2.
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honour the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.
Just hours later Trump signed an executive order banning Syrians from taking refuge in the United States, halting the U.S. refugee resettlement program for four months and temporarily blocking people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The decree suspends a directive that last year saved roughly 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice.
After he signed the order he said:
“We don't want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”
Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence gave his support to an anti-abortion rally, saying: “Life is winning again in America.”
The irony did not go unnoticed.
Speaking of the executive order banning refugees for three months, the State Department said the directive applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - all Muslim-majority nations.
Trump said: “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.
“We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”
One Twitter account marked Holocaust Memorial Day by tweeting the names and pictures of some of those aboard the St Louis ship which sailed from Hamburg to Cuba in 1939 fleeing the Nazis.
The vessel was turned away from the US and of the 900 passengers, 254 were later killed in concentration camps.
It has also been pointed out that the countries affected by the ban are those in which Trump does not have business interests.
A huge number of people have spoken out against the ban including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
A total of 65 million people are displaced worldwide, about 21 million of whom are refugees, according to U.N. data, a number that hasn’t been seen since World War II.
The Syrian conflict alone has created more than 4.8 million refugees, most of whom are still stuck in neighbouring countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. An additional 6.6 million people are internally displaced.