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Oppose Unjust Refugee and Immigration Ban

On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a new executive order on refugees and immigration, doubling down on the discriminatory executive order from January. This latest incarnation of the executive order halts the refugee resettlement program for 120 days and continues to restrict entry to the United States for individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries.

The earlier executive order from January 27, 2017 barred entry of all Syrian refugees; and imposed in essence a religious test for immigrant and refugee entry to the U.S. by refusing entry to any individual coming from a list of majority-Muslim nations – betraying even those individuals with visas and who have supported our nation's military efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. While this latest executive order does contain some of these provisions, the underlying policies remain the same: barring entry to United States for refugees -- those fleeing the most dire of circumstances, and limiting entry to the U.S. based on national origin.

On June 25, 2017 the Supreme Court lifted parts of the injunction that had halted the unjust executive order from going into effect. Now, individuals that would be affected by the order can enter only if they can show a "bona fide relationship" to the United States. The new regulations regarding this change went into effect on June 29. The Supreme Court is going to hear arguments on the core legal questions of the case in the fall.

Together, these executive orders not only defy the United States' historical legacy as a land of refuge, but it also specifically target Muslim-majority countries, reneging on our country’s founding principle of religious freedom.   

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  • Background:   

    The Jan. 27 executive was immediately met with criticism and legal challenges. Eventually, the President revoked the original order and replaced it with a second version on March 6. Despite being rewritten, this new version has also provoked legal challenges. The Supreme Court lifted parts of the injunctions that had stopped the implementation of the executive order, and will hear oral arguments on the legal questions on the order in the fall.

    At a time when the world is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II with over 65 million people displaced, we can maintain our national security and keep our doors open to those who seeking refuge. The United States' refugee resettlement program provides a beacon of hope for vulnerable people around the world. Last year, we were able to maintain national security while welcoming and resettling 85,000 new refugees.  


    Jewish Values:  

    Our tradition instructs that “the stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Lev. 19:33). This principle of welcoming the stranger is repeated 36 times in the Torah, more than any other commandment. Further, Judaism emphasizes the importance of redeeming the captive (piddyon shevuyim), loving kindness (chesed), and hospitality (hachnasat orchim).   


    Take Action:  

    Urge President Trump to rescind this latest discriminatory executive order, and urge your Members of Congress to denounce its provisions, including the imposition of a religious test for entry, and urge its immediate repeal. No one should be barred from entering the United States based on race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.


    For More Information:  

    For more on this issue, visit the RAC's issue pages on refugees and immigration. You can also contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Shelby Friedman at (202) 387-2800.