Statement on Executive Order on Refugees and Muslim Admissions

January 27, 2017

Washington D.C. - Just in time for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Trump signed an executive order today suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, reducing the number of refugees the U.S. will accept in 2017, slowing down the refugee resettlement process, and creating severe restrictions on immigration from a number of predominantly Muslim countries. These actions will isolate America and make us all party to blatant and bigoted religious targeting. These actions also ignore the multi-layered processes the government already uses to screen and vet those seeking entry to the U.S., whether as a refugee, on a tourist visa, or another visa permitting entry.

The following is a statement from Beth Werlin, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:

“Today’s actions by the President fly in the face of human decency. It is profoundly un-American to turn away those seeking safety and to discriminate against groups of people based on nationality and religion. Sadly, we have made this mistake before. In 1939, the United States turned away a transatlantic liner, the M.S. St. Louis, which was transporting 937 Jews seeking protection from Nazi Germany. Nearly a quarter of the passengers perished in the Holocaust.  Yet, today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President proposes we repeat our mistake. This cannot stand.

“The U.S. refugee program has a lengthy, multi-step security process that may very well be the most rigorous in the world. Racial profiling and targeting specific groups based on religion is not only an ineffective counterterrorism tactic, it is cruel and contrary to our values as Americans.”


For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at [email protected] or 202-507-7524

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