We have not forgotten our charge

 

In response to President Trump’s attempts to bar entry to the United States for refugees, immigrants and others from several majority-Muslim countries:

“We have not forgotten our charge. When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ (Leviticus 19:33-34)”

The world is learning that under the Trump Administration, America does not honor its commitments to people or to the values that have been a source of strength and moral leadership since our founding. This administration’s statements will give credence to those stoking the flames of religious hatred, making citizens of every nation on earth, including the United States, less safe for years to come.

I call on our elected representatives to support U.S. refugee resettlement for Syrian and other Muslim and non-Muslim refugees. The President, and every member of Congress, must denounce religious discrimination for refugees.

Reducing refugee resettlement, for any period of time for any group of people, undermines our nation’s founding principles of being a beacon of freedom and hope.

U.S. refugee resettlement is a program that saves hundreds of lives every day, and strengthens our communities and our nation. Reducing refugee resettlement will have profound and detrimental consequences. Lives will be lost and our national interests and security will be at risk.

The United States can – and must – continue to welcome refugees while continuing to ensure our own security. Our history has proven you don’t need to make a choice, and we should continue to do both. We urge President Trump to increase refugee resettlement, at least to its (fiscal year) 2016 and to welcome refugees without regard to religion.