President Trump is likely to issue a new Executive Order this week, reworking his previous and much protested travel ban on immigrants and refugees. Given that the new Executive Order is unlikely to step back from the administration’s original refugee ban, Refugees International continues to condemn and reject President Trump’s misguided anti-immigrant agenda. The president’s ongoing pursuit of this policy is not only inhumane, it targets individuals who seek to escape the very violence President Trump says he intends to address. In continuing to pursue a ban on refugees – no matter its form – the president continues to confuse the victims of extremist violence with its actual perpetrators.
While President Trump’s revamped Executive Order will reportedly exclude green card holders (those already in the United States legally), the administration will again temporarily ban all refugees from the same seven Muslim-majority nations, including those refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. This decision is particularly tragic for Syrian refugees who now represent 25 percent of the current global refugee population.
Moreover, at a time when the world is faced with unprecedented numbers of refugees of all nationalities, the United States must not shrink from its responsibility to protect and welcome those seeking refuge and a better life.
The new Executive Order may still cut refugee admissions drastically, from the Obama administration's 110,000 refugee admissions, down to just 50,000 – and given that 35,000 refugees have already been admitted, that leaves spaces for only 15,000 additional refugees to be granted entry to the U.S. Worse still, the likely Trump reduction would deny entry to thousands of refugees who have already spent years clearing the strict U.S. vetting process and who are so close to resettlement to their new permanent homeland.
Refugees International therefore condemns the president’s continued misguided pursuit of these anti-refugee policies and encourages him to focus instead on the very real issues that have led to today’s staggering global refugee crisis.
U.S. leadership is sorely needed as an example for other refugee hosting nations around the world. This is no time for the United States to retreat from its role as the world’s leader on human rights, humanitarian, and refugee issues.