LAST week I was celebrating the fact that a both friend and a member of my family have been granted refugee status, and indefinite leave to remain, respectively. It’s an amazing feeling – the knock on the office door, the happy light in the eyes banishing the darkness, the bubbling delight on the end of a phone. And then a seven-country ban was imposed by the President of the United States of America and leader of the no-longer-so-free world, Donald Trump.

The ban means that neither of those two happy people will now be able to travel to the United States.

As the minutes ticked by I began to realised just how many people I know who are affected by the ban. Many people who have settled here, as is their right, are now subject to this travel ban and for no other reason than that they happen to have been born in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somali, Libya or Yemen.

The boats coming over the sea from Turkey to Greece are not taxis, they are necessities for journeys made as a last resort, by people who have simply run out of options. These people are now also subject to the ban on refugee resettlement to the United States.

Far from being able to choose where to flee to as a matter of convenience, the refugee resettlement processing is largely a matter of chance. Where you end up is outwith your control and most of those I know have family in the US, Canada, across Europe, and of course, living back in sub-Saharan Africa and across middle and central Asia.

The United States travel ban is a calculating piece of cruelty designed by internationally-deployed strategists who knew exactly how to win the White House, to win Brexit and who are also advising other far-right candidates for elections on their immigration policy. Its one of the harder tasks of being an academic working in this field that I try to stomach reading their carefully crafted advice on how to win power, and hold on to it, how to create “wedge issues” and win through manufacturing fear.

Make absolutely no mistake: this ban is no accident and, without serious protest and opposition such as we have not seen in the West since the Civil Rights Movement, it will continue its cold grip, which pretends that it's really not going to be all that bad through an appeasing centrist pragmatism. Remember Chamberlain’s successful trip to Germany in 1939? May clearly had a similar couple of trips this week to Erdogan and Trump.

It is already that bad? We have a Prime Minister holding hands with a man who is unfit to hold office, who made no mention of the suffering of the Jews on Holocaust Memorial Day and instead brought in a travel ban on Muslims. We have a court order against the ban and yet security officials at airports in the US are, according to the reports on social media, still detaining people. This is how it happens.

And the moment for action against this is right now:

1) Write to your MPs to ask them to seek assurances from the Prime Minister that all those stuck in the UK, in our constituencies, as a result of the travel ban, will be offered full protection and assistance.

2) In the same letter ask that assurances be given that no deal has been struck with President Trump during the visit – no trade deal made conditional on a similar ban being brought in in the UK.

3) Give money to organisations supporting the legal claims and legal education for those seeking the right to remain in the UK.

4) Give money and support to organisations supporting migrants. They need to know they are not on their own.

5) Read, think, analyse and learn from such times as these in history. The Trump playbook is a note-perfect reconstruction of the one used in Germany in the 1930s, and other parts of the world. Many of us have been warning of this for a while. It is no longer a warning. It is being played out and it is extremely well-funded.

6) Join the protests – street assemblies, face-to-face gatherings matching the social media activism are vital for the growth of a civil rights movement and for our collective protection and international solidarity.

7) Thank the politicians who are taking a stand – publicly.

The philosopher Simone Weil said: “once a certain class of people has been put by the authorities outside the ranks of those whose life has value then nothing comes more naturally than murder.”

Trump’s ban on the resettlement of refugees is complicit in mass murder and is in breach of the Refugee Convention. Any politician not condemning this unequivocally is buying a one-way ticket to the Pontius Pilate hand-washing chapters of history. And yes, that’s you, PM.

Alison Phipps is UNESCO Professor of refugee integration through languages and the arts, University of Glasgow, & co-convener of GRAMNet – Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network. @alison_phipps