Revised Executive Order on Immigration Remains Dangerous and Wrong

March 6, 2017

J Street strongly opposes the revised Executive Order restricting refugee resettlement and immigration to the United States signed today by President Trump.

While the massive public criticism and effective legal opposition to the initial Order prompted the administration to remove and clarify a handful of the most controversial provisions, this remains an ill-conceived, discriminatory and dangerous measure that runs counter to American and Jewish values.

The Order continues to be fundamentally an attempt to block many Muslims from entering the United States based on the idea that Muslim refugees and immigrants are an inherent threat to our national security – when in fact precisely the opposite is true. Immigrants and refugees are and have long been an asset to our country, bringing a desire to struggle and succeed and an appreciation for the freedoms of the American way of life. All of the refugees who come here undergo extensive screening and security checks. Contrary to President Trump’s assertions, there is no evidence that they pose a security threat. In fact, not a single immigrant or refugee from the six Muslim-majority countries included in this Order has ever committed an act of terror on US soil.

This new Order would reduce the total US refugee resettlement program from an already-too-low 110,000 to 50,000. It also would end resettlement for the foreseeable future of many refugees who have already been vetted and who have obtained the necessary medical and security clearances needed. This is tragic and unacceptable.

Like previous generations of refugees, including the millions of Jews who fled the Holocaust and persecution in Europe, refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and from around the world deserve assistance and a place of safety from violence and war. Turning our backs on them is a shameful betrayal of our principles and of our history as a nation of immigrants. It is an abdication of American leadership that sends a dangerous message to both our allies and our enemies around the world.

J Street is determined to continue to work in coalition with the many organizations – both in the Jewish community and beyond – that are fighting this measure and all efforts to discriminate against immigrants, refugees and Muslims. We will do everything that we can to stand up for those who have been targeted and to fight for our American Jewish values.

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