Hate crimes against refugees, particularly Muslims, have been on the rise over the past year as the Trump campaign frequently labeled this population as “the ultimate Trojan horse,” compared them to poisoned skittles, encouraged people with Syrian neighbors to “lock their doors,” and spoke about creating a Muslim registry.
Although some dismiss such words as simply rhetoric, the truth is that the President has a signifant amount of power over how the United States responds to refugees. President Obama raised the number of refugees admitted to the United States and persuaded other nations to do the same. It is not a far stretch to believe that a Trump presidency may have negative consequences for the U.S. resettlement program. Governors have already began pulling out of the program as a statement that Syrian refugees are not welcomed in their states.
“We have all been shocked at the level of vitriol used by some people who are running for office regarding refugees,” said Lee Williams, vice-president of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). “These are people who by definition have been forced to flee because of violence, their ethnicity, their religion or who they love. The last thing we want to do is have people who are traumatized to end up being resettled in a community where they may face violence as a result of their ethnicity or background.”
Human rights and refugee advocates around the nation continue to urge President Elect Trump to continue America’s tradition of keeping its doors open to those fleeing danger, and hope that communities around the country will welcome refugees rather than rejecting them.
Many remain hopeful that Trump will be willing to change his outlook on refugees.
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