Member Statements Opposing President Trump’s Proposed Executive Order on Refugees

Episcopal Migration Ministries

A statement from the director of Episcopal Migration Ministries – January 25, 2017
“This decision will mean that many of those who are the most vulnerable, the most at risk of further violence, the least likely to be able to fend for themselves, are now to be left without hope. Such a position does not reflect who we are as a nation, or as a people of faith.  This action will be taken, we are told, to make us safe. Yet, isolating ourselves from the world does not make us safer; it only isolates us. Being afraid of those who differ from us does not make us wise, or even prudent; it only traps us in an echo chamber of suspicion and anger, and stops us cold from loving as Christ loved. Judging an entire culture or a religion or a nation by the actions of extremists within it does not make us a strong leader in the world; it destroys our ability to tap into the strength of the greater whole, it causes others to judge us, and – like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 who prayed, “God, I thank thee that I am not as others are” – it stains our soul with a self-righteousness that grieves the heart of God.”
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Trump’s Planned Action on Refugees is a Betrayal of American Values – January 26, 2017
“To deprive refugees of safe haven is to scapegoat vulnerable human beings, and to confuse those who flee terror with terror itself. President Trump said himself during his inauguration address that America ‘will shine for everyone to follow.’ We can only pray that other countries do not follow Trump’s example of turning away people trying to flee genocide and persecution.  For most of our history, America has welcomed refugees as a strength. However, there have been dark periods, including during the Holocaust, when the United States and other countries shut their doors to millions of innocent people. Instead of finding refuge, they were murdered because of their faith, their opinion, their sexual identity, or their ethnicity. Under Donald Trump’s leadership, America is once again entering a terrible dark period where we choose to fear refugees, rather than to welcome them.  It’s a deep and tragic irony that Trump is threatening to slam the door in the faces of refugees right before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as the entire refugee convention came out of the Holocaust and the failure of the international community to protect Jews and survivors.”
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Asylum-Seekers Deserve Due Process, Not Detention – January 25, 2017
“Since World War II, the U.S. has operated under the fundamental ideal that a person fleeing persecution must not be returned to a country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened. Refugees and asylum seekers are people who can’t be safe at home, have run out of options, and are asking the United States for protection. With today’s Executive Order, President Trump is prioritizing detention and removal over protection and due process.  The vast majority of asylum-seekers from Central America are women and children who are at risk of violence, sexual assault, and even death if they are returned to their home countries. They deserve a fair hearing, and our compassion, not to be locked up and treated like criminals simply because they crossed a border while running for their lives.”
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Human Rights First

Executive Orders Halting Refugee Resettlement Dangerous to National Security – January 25, 2017
“The provisions reportedly included in these orders would be harmful to U.S. national security interests, undermining American leadership and sending exactly the wrong message to U.S. allies in the Middle East. Resettlement of persecuted refugees has a long history of bipartisan support, and not only reflects American ideals but also advances U.S. national security interests by supporting allies who are struggling to host large numbers of refugees. The orders would also appear to leave Iraqis and Afghans whose lives are at risk because of their work with the United States stranded in danger for even longer,” said Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer. “As refugees are already extremely rigorously vetted before entering the United States, these moves appear to be about reducing refugee resettlement overall and blocking resettlement from mostly Muslim countries.”
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Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Condemns the Trump Administration’s Actions Against Refugees and Migrants – January 25, 2017
“At a time when so many people are fleeing unspeakable violence and persecution to seek refuge in the U.S., today’s decision is a drastic contradiction of what it means to be an American. As the world has its eyes on us, it is imperative that President Trump uphold the values that America has always lived by: compassion, empathy, family, human rights, and protection for those seeking a safe haven from danger and persecution,” said Linda Hartke, LIRS President and CEO.  “As Christians, we do not fear our new neighbors who have fled for their very lives – we embrace them. As people of faith, we are called to love and serve our neighbors – and as a result, our churches, our communities and our nation are stronger.”
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Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

SEARAC Denounces Planned Executive Orders on Refugees and Muslims as Anti-American & Anti-Freedom – January 26, 2017
“Not unlike families from Syria and across the world today, our families risked their lives for freedom. Our families ran from terror, starvation, and incessant bombings of our homes. Many chose death rather than suffering under political and religious oppression. We were welcomed into America despite the opposition of a minority of Americans, and with resilience and grit we have made America our home.”  SEARAC also stands by refugees from all nations, including those from Muslim countries. By closing our doors to refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries, President Trump attacks America’s values of freedom, compassion, and humanitarianism. These policies do not make America safe, and they do not make America great. These policies make America hate, and further divide an already divided country.
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