On March 6, President Trump signed a new Executive Order
that announced a refugee and travel
ban to replace the one originally issued January 27th, which is currently held up in the courts.
What does the new ban say and do?
The new travel ban imposes a 90 day suspension of entry to the U.S. of nationals from the six primarily Muslim nations of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Iraqi citizens and persons with Legal Permanent Residence status are not affected by the new order.
The order also
suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and
lowers the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. this fiscal year to 50,000--even though there are more refugees in the world now than since World War II, and Congress previously allocated funds to resettle 75,000 refugees this year. Fifty thousand represents the smallest number of refugees ever allowed to be resettled in the U.S. since the beginning of the nation's refugee resettlement program. Since the fiscal year began October 1, 2016, already 38,000 of these refugees have been admitted.
The indefinite ban on Syrian refugees (that was in the initial refugee ban) has been eliminated, as has the language which expressed preference for minority religious groups seeking protection.
During the 120 day resettlement suspension under the ban, the order proposes to review refugee screening procedures--even though the current refugee screening process is already the world's safest and most rigorous, takes up to two years, and includes 8 federal government agencies, 6 security databases, 5 separate background checks, 4 biometric security checks, 3 separate in-person interviews, and 2 inter-agency security checks.
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, expressed deep concern this week that the decision "may compound the anguish for those it affects," leaving refugees stranded in life threatening conditions. The stated "pause" in refugee resettlement has also already crippled refugee resettlement programs, including our Disciples' resettlement partner Church World Service, which estimates a loss of at least $30 million for refugee resettlement for their organization this year.
In response, there are many ways we can show compassion for the world's vulnerable refugees!:
CALL YOUR SENATORS & REPRESENTATIVES at
today and tell them you support the refugee resettlement program and oppose President Trump's executive orders against refugees.
*Call 3 times to connect with your 1 Representative & 2 Senators
"I'm your constituent from [City, State], and I support refugee resettlement. I strongly oppose the President's executive orders against refugees - both the original January version and the rewritten version released on March 6th. The order will bar individuals from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen; grind refugee resettlement from all countries to a halt; and reduce the number of refugees we welcome to 50,000, a historic low. This does not reflect the welcome for refugees I see in my community, and I urge you to do everything in your power to see this executive order rescinded."
JOIN THE INTERFAITH IMMIGRATION COALITION'S WEBINAR on Monday, March 13, at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, about "Faith Allies in Rapid Response" to learn concrete ways your faith community can respond to protect immigrants and refugees
. Register for the webinar here:
To join the webinar, go to
and follow the directions for audio and visual.
For audio only call: +1.202.602.1295 Access Code: 354-977-836#
BUILD UNDERSTANDING AND RELATIONSHIPS OF SOLIDARITY WITH LOCAL MUSLIM COMMUNITIES
feeling fearful in this time. C
onsider studying resources such as these as an individual, family, or congregation:
--"My Neighbor is Muslim: Exploring the Muslim Faith, "
a seven-part study guide for communities and congregations to build understanding about Islam, and developed through the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Go to:
to download a copy, and/or to order a limited number of hard copies.
--"Christian-Muslim Dialogues," a five part series of panel discussions, links to lectures, articles, and additional resources for answering interfaith questions and building peaceful partnerships. Go here:
to access and download free materials!
USE YOUR VOICE (and signs!) to HOST A PRAYER VIGIL, WRITE AN OP-ED, OR PLAN ANOTHER EVENT
in your area to lift up the voices and testimonies of immigrants and refugees, to pray for communities and read scripture that calls us to "welcome the stranger," and to share information to educate others about the great benefits of immigrant and refugees in our churches and communities, and about the long term security of the U.S. refugee program.
REACH OUT TO YOUR PARTNERS IN THE BUSINESS, HEALTH, EDUCATOR, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND FAITH COMMUNITY!
Urge them to sign onto these sector-specific letters supporting resettlement and opposing discrimination. Go to these links for each letter:
MESSAGE AND POST THE WHITE HOUSE.