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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Congresswoman Lawrence on Trump’s Immigration Order against Refugees

January 27, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC –Today, President Trump issued an executive order on immigration which, among other things stops visas and entrance of noncitizens from Muslim-majority countries and temporarily bans refugees from entering the United States:

“The United States of America is a country of immigrants.  Our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths. We have a tradition of being a safe haven for those fleeing countries that do not have the same liberties and freedoms that we enjoy in the U.S.A.  Mr. Trump’s executive order to halt visas from Muslim-majority countries and ban entrance of refugees does not represent the land of the free and home of the brave.

We are hearing concerns all across the country, including Michigan’s 14th district.  One of the largest and oldest U.S.-founded Arab American humanitarian relief and development organization in the United States spoke out to our office: "We are experiencing the largest forced migration crisis in recorded history. The United States should welcome more refugees now, not less. Providing protection to people seeking safety is one of our nation’s proudest and longest standing traditions, including resettling Jewish refugees during World War II, Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s, and more recently refugees from the Sudan, Burma / Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.” Dr. Hany Saqr, CEO, Life for Relief & Development.

“We must prioritize the safety and security of our nation, and I support a strong vetting system. We need to continue to ensure that refugees who enter our country will be contributing members of society.  However, I do not, and we cannot support stereotyping and discrimination based on religion.  The current process for entrance of refugees and asylum seekers is not a wide open door.  The vetting process is extensive and we cannot allow fear or falsehoods to get in the way of facts.  Terrorists are extremists, and not a religion.  America is great because we are inclusive and not exclusive. We must come together and oppose these kinds of acts to divide, wherever they come from.”   

Background:

President Trump issued an executive order on immigration which, among other things: (i) halts for 30 days all visas and admissions of noncitizens from a series of exclusively Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen); (ii) enacts a 120 day ban on all refugees from entering the United States and shuts down the Syrian refugee program indefinitely; (iii) reduces the ceiling for worldwide refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000;  (iv) levels additional screening measures, including a potential “Values Test” that could be used to target entire groups, against immigrants seeking entry into the United States; and (v) imposes an across-the-board in-person interview requirement on all immigration benefit applications.

 

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