Don’t Close America’s Doors to Refugees

November 20, 2015

J Street opposes and expresses our deep concern over efforts at the national and state level to block or unduly delay admission to the United States of refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict and ISIS’s terrorism.

For many of us as Jews and descendants of refugees, we feel duty-bound to speak out against efforts to repeat this country’s mistakes in turning away European Jews fleeing the horrors of fascism and genocide in the 1930s and 1940s– decisions that were also driven by religious and ethnic animosities thinly veiled as security arguments.

As an organization which promotes fact-based understanding of and pragmatic policies toward often complex issues arising in the Middle East, we reject the hyperbolic and at times bigoted rhetoric emerging in much of the political debate concerning refugees and Muslims that has followed the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris.

We do recognize the US government’s obligation to ensure the safety and security of American citizens, and we certainly support stringent vetting and background checks of all those being considered for admission.

J Street therefore calls on state officials and national lawmakers to desist from efforts to end or frustrate US Government plans to shelter refugees of the Syrian conflict and to maintain the appropriate balance between the demands of security and of compassion. Nearly all of those seeking refuge are themselves victims of radical extremism and terror, and we urge that the US augment rather than limit assistance to them.

Act now: tell your Senators to make the right choice and oppose any effort to block or delay the admission of refugees in need.