Member Statements on the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling

RCUSA Statement on the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling

Refugee Council USA Welcomes Washington State Court Ruling

Washington, DC- February 10, 2017

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), a coalition dedicated to refugee protection and welcome, representing hundreds of thousands of refugees and their millions of supporters and volunteers, is encouraged by the ruling from the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court’s decision stops, at least temporarily, the enforcement of certain provisions of the Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry Into the United States by Foreign Nationals Executive Order.

As a result of this ruling, we expect that the proud tradition of the United States resettling refugees from around the world and of all faiths will continue. While we look forward to working with our many community partners around the country to welcome refugees in the coming days and weeks, we know that much more must still be done to ensure that the Executive Order is permanently overturned. Until this happens, RCUSA will stand in firm opposition to any attempts to halt refugee resettlement to the United States; efforts to ban specific refugee groups because of their faith; and, the reduction by 60% of the number of refugees that America welcomes this year.

Hans Van de Weerd, Chair of RCUSA states “This ruling is an important step forward for refugees and immigrants, but we continue to urge the Administration to rescind the Executive Order. Doing so would show a commitment to upholding the American values that have helped to define our country since its very inception.”

RCUSA Member Statements on President Trump's Executive Action on Refugees

RCUSA Statement on President Trump's Executive Order to Suspend the US Refugee Resettlement Program, Reduce Overall Refugee Admissions, and Ban Syrians

Refugee Council USA stands in firm opposition to President Trump’s Executive Order that suspends the entire U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days; bans the arrival of Syrian refugees; and, reduces the overall number of refugees who will enter the United States this year from 110,000 to 50,000.

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."
Read more.

HIAS

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."
Read more.

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.”
Read More.

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.”
Read more.

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.”
Read more.

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.
Read more.

 

Member Statements on Cabinet Nominee Confirmation Hearings

 

HIAS

HHS Head and UN Ambassador Nominees Could Impact Refugee Policies in US, Worldwide January 17, 2017
The Secretary of Health and Human Services is responsible for overseeing the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which puts him in charge of providing for the basic needs of refugees when they first arrive in the United States," said Melanie Nezer, HIAS VP for Policy and Advocacy. “HIAS urges senators to ask how Congressman Price will provide these services in the midst of severe funding shortfalls. We need to know that Rep. Price is committed to doing everything in his power to fight for funding and basic services for refugees and the communities across the country that welcome and support them. Read more

The next U.S. Representative to the UN must maintain the energy and build on the progress we saw during the summits. Senators must ask how Governor Haley will ensure that the US remains the world’s leader in refugee resettlement and hold UN member countries responsible for the commitments they made to protect refugees. Read more

HIAS Urges Senate to Pose Tough Questions at Confirmation Hearings January 6, 2017
HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, is urging senators to carefully consider how President-Elect Trump’s nominees for the next attorney general, secretary of state, and secretary of homeland security will treat refugees and immigrants before voting to confirm them. Given the importance of their positions for U.S. policy toward refugees and asylum seekers, it is essential that senators demand answers before deciding whether or not they will be able to perform these roles effectively.  “As we face the largest refugee crisis since World War II, we need leaders who will uphold America’s proud legacy of protecting and welcoming refugees and who will respect the rights of everyone in America, including refugees and immigrants,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS vice president for policy and advocacy.  Read more

Church World Service

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Pertaining to the Nomination of Rex W. Tillerson for Secretary of State January 6, 2017
CWS calls on the Senate and the incoming Secretary of State to affirm the importance of the refugee resettlement program, which is key to upholding our values of compassion, generosity, and welcome as we face the largest refugee crisis in recorded history. Any efforts to dismantle or curtail the U.S. refugee resettlement program are not reflective of the welcome we see in communities across the country. Refugee resettlement showcases the best virtues of the United States – community, opportunity, hard work, diversity, caring for one another, and courage to start a new life. We must carry on our nation’s proud history of hospitality and moral leadership. Let us reflect the best of our nation by leading by example so that other nations do the same and affirming our collective, moral imperative to love our neighbor, welcome the sojourner, and care for the most vulnerable among us.  Read more

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Pertaining to the Nomination of General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security January 6, 2017
As we face the worst displacement crisis in recorded history, with over 65 million people forced from their homes, we call on General Kelly to recognize refugee protection and resettlement as cornerstones of U.S. global leadership that promote U.S. interests, including regional stability and global security. Read more

CWS Statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Pertaining to the
Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General
January 6, 2017
Senator Sessions has wrongfully argued that immigrants do not contribute to the United States — a perspective that has been widely discredited, given that immigrants are vital assets to the U.S. economy and are an important part of the U.S. business community. On numerous occasions, he has stated that refugees and immigrants are unable to integrate, and has implied that people who are not currently fluent in English have less value. As we face the worst displacement crisis in recorded history with over 65 million displaced persons including over 21 million refugees around the world, it is critical that the United States demonstrate leadership in refugee protection and resettlement. The U.S. refugee resettlement program emphasizes early self-sufficiency through employment, and most refugees are employed within their first six months of arriving to the United States. Read more.