March 6th, 2017
AUSTIN – Today President Trump released his revision of his initial Executive Order banning migrants from predominantly Muslim countries. The new Executive Order continues to impose “extreme vetting” on immigrants and visitors from six Muslim-majority countries. It also continues to ban refugee resettlement for 120 days and places a severe cap on refugee resettlement in the U.S.
“These measures are counterproductive and feed a climate of xenophobia that is corrosive to our democracy. The changes in the new Executive Order do nothing to change the fact that it is discriminatory towards Muslims. The new order also ignores the fact that the Department of Homeland security itself has determined that citizenship itself is an ‘unlikely indicator’ of threat to the U.S.” said Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways’ Executive Director. “Although only 6 countries are named in the Executive Order, these policies will have a terrible impact on all immigrants seeking protection in the U.S. The ban targets the most vulnerable populations – refugees – and will not make Americans any safer.”
The new Executive Order continues to ignore the U.S. obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and undermine decades of American leadership in refugee protection. By placing a hold on refugees entering the country Mr. Trump is targeting some of the world’s most vulnerable people in the name of national security. “Refugees entering the U.S. currently undergo longer and more rigorous vetting than any other class of immigrants,” explained Lightsey. “They are survivors of persecution and often have more to fear from terrorism and extremist ideologies than most American citizens.”
The Administration’s revised Executive Order remains discriminatory and does little to make Americans safer while contributing to insecurity within our immigrant community and eroding our credibility as a force for good in the world. We call on the Administration to rescind these policies immediately.
Regardless, American Gateways will continue to advocate for immigrants and refugees in Central Texas and beyond to ensure that the promise and strength of the US is restored.