WASHINGTON (March 6, 2017) – The humanitarian organization CARE warns that the new executive order on immigration issued today by the Trump Administration still puts the lives of vulnerable refugees at risk. The U.S. government should uphold American leadership in accepting refugees while it reviews screening procedures for refugee admissions.
“We are gravely concerned that this order, along with reports of proposed major budget cuts to foreign aid, will impact millions of refugees and people in need of humanitarian assistance,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE. “The U.S. has long been a beacon for those fleeing conflict and persecution around the world, but this latest refugee order threatens to diminish our reputation and goes against the very values that have built America’s humanitarian leadership. We are better than this ban.”
The new executive order suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and shuts the door to 60,000 refugees in the process of being considered for resettlement this year in the U.S. This action denies protection to the most vulnerable people, mostly women and children, who cannot return home due to violence and persecution and now cannot begin new lives in safety in the U.S.
The Administration’s decision to suspend the U.S. Refugee Program for four months and reduce the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. is not in our national interest. Rather, it jeopardizes people with the greatest needs, like mothers, children, and refugees struggling with disabilities and medical needs.
With global displacement at a historical high, it is critical that the U.S. remains a leader in providing lifesaving protection through both foreign assistance and U.S. resettlement. Should the United States abandon these principles, it could not only strain U.S. relations with these countries, but also send a dangerous message to other countries that international laws and commitments are subject to political whims.
Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted immigrants who enter the U.S. Their security screenings involve the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense, among others. Screening measures have intensified in recent years and can still be altered without halting the program completely.
In effort to lift voices opposed to the order, CARE launched the #BetterThanTheBan campaign, asking supporters to share on social media why Americans are #BetterThanTheBan and send letters to legislators asking them to stand in solidarity with refugees.
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ABOUT CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.