Los Angeles, CA -- The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, on Friday repudiated President Trump's Executive Orders that seek to slash refugee admissions, grind all resettlement to a halt, indefinitely ban Syrian refugees, and prioritize religious minorities over all other refugees.
The following are statements for Angelica Salas, executive director for CHIRLA.
With a stroke of a pen, President Trump has snuffed out the shining beacon of hope that throughout our nation's history has guided the 'poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free' to our shores. President Trump's actions are sweeping, reprehensible, and callous.
For many years, immigrants and refugees have peacefully resettled and integrated to our way of life. In opening our hearts and arms to refugees from some of the world's most conflicted regions, the U.S. has demonstrated fairness, compassion, and commitment to protecting basic human rights. It is this welcoming spirit that makes America great.
To deny entry on the basis of national origin is not only unconstitutional and will result in the loss of lives that would otherwise find solace in our country. By signing these Executive Orders, the President has chosen to walk the perilous tight rope of isolationism that hampered our nation's response to refugees fleeing Nazi Germany not too long ago. The United States of America is better than this.
It is an American tradition to offer humanitarian support to those who need it most. It is also an American value not to discriminate on the basis of national origin or religion. Now is not the time to shut our hearts and doors to immigrants and refugees who seek to build better lives, contribute to society, and bring communities together. We must not allow President Trump's myopic view of the world to limit the American people's indefatigable commitment to treat others with generosity, dignity, and compassion."