President Trumphasissued an executive order barring entry of all Syrian refugees;and imposed in essence a religious test for immigrant and refugee entry to the U.S.byrefusing entry to any individual coming from a list of majority-Muslim nations – betraying even those individuals who have supported our nation's military efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Families are now being held apart and countless individuals who have served our nation in the most difficult circumstances are in jeopardy. This executive order not onlydefiesthe United States' historical legacy as a land of refuge, but it also specifically targets Muslim-majority countries, reneging on our country’s founding principle of religious freedom.
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Shortly after the executive order went into effect, a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York blocked a key part of the order: the several hundred people with valid visas who were en route to the United States when the order was announced would be admitted. While this is an important step towards dismantling this horrifying and offensive executive order, much of the most discriminatory and troubling elements of the policy remain in place.
At a time when the world is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II with over 65 million people displaced,we canmaintain our national security andkeep ourdoorsopento those who seekingrefuge.The United States' refugee resettlement program provides a beacon of hope for vulnerable people around the world. Last year, we were able tomaintain national security whilewelcomingand resettling85,000 new refugees.
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 (piddyonshevuyim), loving kindness (chesed), and hospitality (hachnasatorchim).
Urge President Trump torescind this abhorrent 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 forrefugeesandimmigration.You can also contactEisendrathLegislative Assistant Shelby Friedman at (202) 387-2800.