January 28, 2017
The United States of America has been a Union in the making since the pilgrims arrived in 1620, and we continue to be a nation of refugees and immigrants. Sadly, the core value of our proud country has been shattered with the stroke of a pen.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) strongly denounces President Trump’s Executive Order to suspend the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. For over 100 years, USCRI has protected the rights and addressed the needs of vulnerable, uprooted people who have lost or left their homes. We support their transition to a dignified life. This Executive Order is contrary to the basic tenets of core American values.
President and CEO, Lavinia Limón has requested a meeting with the Trump Administration including President Trump. “I will ask our new President to reverse this damaging Executive Order and to continue the tradition of the best American values, including equal protection and respect for vulnerable refugees and immigrants. We, and he, the descendants of refugees and immigrants, know that our country is great when all of humanity is recognized. America has always been the beacon of hope for the oppressed and this must continue unabated.”
The US refugee program has been a strong example of bipartisan support and cooperation since its establishment. Refugee admissions are part of a foreign policy strategy that makes our nation a world leader in standing for freedom and human rights and as a beacon of hope for individuals and families seeking safety from persecution. The change is an affront to our values and an impediment to our interests.
“Newly arrived refugees and former refugees who are now U.S. citizens value freedom and love our country more than you can imagine. They demonstrate this love by sending their sons and daughters to join our military, by starting businesses that employ other Americans and by strengthening communities with strong values. ” said Limón. “The suspension of admissions is a loss for our nation – refugees are coming to America because they are persecuted and targeted for the same values our nation strives to uphold – freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and other freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”
USCRI understands the concern for safety in the refugee admissions program. The refugees we admit are often victims of terrorism themselves. They are our allies. The United States government hand picks every single refugee who enters the United States. U.S. refugee admissions is a thorough, thoughtful and lengthy process involving continuous rigorous security screenings that includes in-person interviews. When doubts arise, trained U.S. personnel reject the application. Once selected, the government knows where every refugee is placed and requires that they report to the government any change in address until they become a citizen. Review and updates to the security measures in the U.S. admissions program have occurred and can continue to occur without suspension of admissions. Every day we hear the thanks and gratitude of refugees to the United States and see their success as they are able to live in freedom and start a new life in America. In referring to our Union, Abraham Lincoln stated, December 1, 1862, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Stacie Blake, firstname.lastname@example.org, C: 727.215.8318