Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to join other world leaders in criticising Donald Trump's harsh new immigration measures, saying he would not "run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries".
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, however, has blasted Mr Trump's clampdown, saying the controversial crackdown was "appalling and ought to be ended as soon as possible".
Mr Turnbull, speaking a day after his first phone call with Mr Trump since the billionaire businessman was sworn in as US President, said that if the policies were found to harm the freedom of Australians to travel to the US, the Australian government would take it up with their American counterparts.
But in contrast to the leaders of Britain, Germany, France and Canada, Mr Turnbull declined to condemn or signal disagreement with the new US executive order, which imposes a range restrictions - some temporary and some indefinite - on refugee intakes and other immigration to the US. This includes a three-month ban on virtually all citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries entering the US.
"It's not my job as Prime Minister of Australia to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries," Mr Turnbull said.
He did draw a distinction between Australia and the US, pointing to Australia's non-discriminatory immigration policy. Asked whether he found Mr Trump's policy discriminatory, Mr Turnbull said that "our rules, our values are very well known".
"Our commitment to multiculturalism, our commitment to a non-discriminatory immigration program is well known ... so that's where we stand. That's our policy. But our borders are secure. That is the bottom line," he said.
Mr Turnbull also confirmed for the first time publicly that Mr Trump had vowed to honour a pre-existing deal for the US to resettle some refugees currently held on Nauru and Manus Island. But he did not provide any further detail on how many of the roughly 2000 refugees the US would accept because US officials were still carrying out their assessments and security checks.
Under the executive order signed by Mr Trump, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen cannot enter the US for the next three months, suggesting that Australians who have dual nationality with one of those countries could be affected. The US has also banned indefinitely refugees from Syria, whose civil war has claimed at least 400,000 lives.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have all spoken out against Mr Trump's clampdown, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted pointedly timed tweets saying Canada welcomed refugees.
Mr Shorten said in a statement on Monday that where possible the US should be free to make its policies without interference from Australia but "there are some issues where silence will be interpreted as agreement".
"For that reason, I need to say Mr Trump's ban on refugees based upon their religion or country is appalling and ought to be ended as soon as possible."
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd tweeted overnight that Mr Trump's order could hamper the fight against the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and encourage a terror attack on the United States.
Germany's Dr Merkel said through a spokesman that "the Chancellor regrets the US government's entry ban against refugees and the citizens of certain countries" and that "the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion".
Ms May said US immigration policy was a matter for the US government but added: "But we do not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking."
France's Mr Hollande warned Mr Trump against withdrawing from democratic principles, "in particular the acceptance of refugees".
"Faced with an unstable and uncertain world, withdrawal into oneself is a dead-end response," Mr Hollande said.