January 28th, 2017
We are deeply troubled regarding the Executive Order targeting our refugee, immigrant, and Muslim communities. It flies in the face of the American values we hold dear. Religious freedom is a key tenet in our constitution, and the persecution of one faith threatens the protection of all faiths. The United States Constitution expressly protects individuals from persecution perpetrated by their own government. This includes bigotry based on faith, on nation of origin, and skin color.
This announcement is especially heart wrenching for our Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Libyan, Somali, Sudanese and Yemeni community members who are waiting to be reunited with a sister, brother, parent or child. These refugees are our coworkers, neighbors, friends, business owners, community leaders, and fellow American citizens and voters.
As an organization whose mission is to promote reconciliation between the people of the US and the people of Iraq in response to the devastation of the US invasion and occupation that has affected Iraqi families, society, and culture, we find this news horrifying. This announcement would bar many Iraqis who are eligible for the Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and who face persecution due to their work alongside U.S. troops. The US government must not abandon the little responsibility it has taken regarding the consequences of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.
We recommend that you take a look at the steps the Arab American Institute has outlined to stand against the ban here. We also recommend reaching out to CAIR with any legal questions at 612-206-3360 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at IARP with any questions or concerns.
In the upcoming weeks, please reach out to your immigrant, refugee, Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Latin American neighbors, and let them know you care and stand with them in solidarity.
Your IARP Team
What we know about the Executive Order:
- A ban on entry for 90 days of all immigrants and non-immigrants, for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This seems to be affecting US permanent residents (green card holders) as well.
- Stops most refugee admissions for at least four months: 120-day pause in refugee admissions to the U.S. with exceptions permitted for those fleeing religious persecution if their religion is a minority in their country of nationality.
- Blocks refugees from war-torn Syria from entering the U.S. indefinitely.
- Caps total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000 – less than half of the 110,000 proposed by the Obama administration.
What is the current vetting system like?