Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has slammed President Donald Trump for presiding over a naturalisation ceremony during the Republican National Convention, saying it was "like watching a fox bless a henhouse".
Trump presided over a rare naturalisation ceremony at the White House where five immigrants, including a software developer from India, were sworn in as American citizens, as the US leader welcomed them to the "magnificent nation" that is comprised of every race, religion and colour.
"Trump has spent his entire political career demonising immigrants. He's caged migrant babies at the border. He's used fear of "caravans" as a political prop. "Watching him preside over a naturalisation ceremony last night was like watching a fox bless a henhouse," Clinton tweeted Wednesday.
The pre-taped White House ceremony was played during the second night of the Republican National Convention. Indian immigrant Sudha Sundari Narayanan, an IT software developer, was among the five immigrants who were administered the Oath of Allegiance by Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, while Trump looked on.
Immigrants from Bolivia, Lebanon, Sudan and Ghana were also sworn-in as US citizens. Trump said Narayanan is a "phenomenal success", born in India, who came to the United States 13 years ago. "Sudha is a talented software developer and she and her husband are raising two beautiful, wonderful children 'the apples of your life'. Thank you very much and congratulations. Fantastic job."
Trump handed Narayanan, who was wearing a bright coral pink sari, her Certificate of Citizenship. However, the naturalisation ceremony was criticised, with experts slamming Trump for using immigrants he has so far "vilified" as "election props". Opinion columnist Frank Bruni wrote in a piece in The New York Times that Trump "emceed a naturalisation ceremony - on live television - of five immigrants who belong to the sorts of ethnic groups or come from the kinds of places that he has routinely caricatured and vilified. This didn't honour them. It reduced them to re-election props."
New York-based immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta tweeted "Trump and illegally appointed Wolf conduct a naturalisation ceremony during a political convention to hypocritically pander to immigrants they have otherwise banned, abused and caged." Immigration has been a very critical agenda of the Trump campaign and his presidency, with Trump asserting throughout that as the American President he will ensure job security and safety for American citizens first.
As job losses mounted and the American economy suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Trump ordered some stringent immigration restrictions, including suspending the H1B visas, which is popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for the rest of the year.