November 15, 2017
We Stand with Refugees
It’s no secret that we have our differences with President Trump, but his record on refugees has been particularly hard to take. Why? A brief review:
- He banned refugees from certain countries from entering the United States. (That ban has been challenged in court, halted, and altered various times, but it persists.)
- He suspended the entire US refugee resettlement program while cutting the number of refugees approved to arrive in 2017 by more than half.
- He capped refugee arrivals in 2018 at 45,000—the lowest level ever.
Our friends at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have been working hard to push back against Trump’s aggressive moves and rhetoric, while at the same time seeking to educate all of us about the truth about refugees. They came up with a list of ten things that Trump doesn’t understand about refugees that we just had to share. Take a look:
Refugees are not a security risk.
The US has always welcomed refugees, usually vulnerable families, who are fleeing war or violence. There is no evidence that refugees or children of refugees pose any threat to the US.
The US refugee vetting process is already the world’s most secure.
Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted group to enter the US. In a process that can take more than two years, refugees must undergo a series of interviews, background checks, medical screenings, and classes to ensure that they can safely and securely resettle here.
Rejecting refugees actually feeds terrorism.
The Trump travel ban is a gift to extremist groups, like ISIS, who have been trying for years to portray the US as a country that’s at war with Islam and doesn’t value Muslim lives. Trump’s ban bolsters that propaganda.
Humanitarian aid is not a substitute for refugee resettlement.
For many refugees stuck in countries plagued by violence or natural disasters, humanitarian aid on the ground is not enough. If they have urgent safety, medical or family concerns, resettlement to another country is their only option.
Refugees benefit local economies and fill empty jobs in the workforce.
When a report from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that refugees have brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost was leaked, the White House rejected it. But facts are facts...
Refugee resettlement is important for US foreign policy and national security.
Refugee resettlement relieves pressure on our allies and other countries (many of whom are taking in many more refugees than we are), promotes humanitarianism across the globe, and shows terrorists that the US welcomes those who reject terrorist ideologies.
The US has long shown bipartisan support in offering safe haven to refugees.
America has long been a beacon of hope for refugees. In fact, refugee resettlement hit record numbers during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Refugees integrate quickly into American society.
Refugees integrate and make our communities better, and they do it fast, with their success only accelerating as they become more rooted in this country.
Americans from communities across the country welcome refugees.
The numbers of Americans stepping up to volunteer to assist refugees have grown, especially in response to Trump’s recent actions. There is a lot of us can do to help refugees—and they need our help now more than ever.
The US should admit more refugees next year, not fewer.
At a time when the world is facing some of the worst humanitarian crises in history, the Trump administration is only allowing 45,000 refugees to enter the US in 2018. This is a devastatingly low number and it will affect thousands of people who will be left stranded, vulnerable, and without a safe place to call home. We need to help them.
Trump’s actions on refugees weakens our standing around the world and endangers the lives of those fleeing violence and persecution. We need to do more. The IRC believes that at least 75,000 refugees should be admitted to this country in 2018.
Join us and the IRC and tell Congress to raise the 2018 refugee admission cap. Take action now.
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