WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after President Trump today issued an Executive Order restricting travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and drastically cutting back refugee admissions:
“This revised Executive Order is still a troubling and needless ban on travel to the United States by citizens of predominantly Muslim countries and an inhumane retreat from our refugee commitments. It does not pass the smell test and is an affront to our history as a nation of immigrants, and our respect for religious freedom.
The Department of Homeland Security has already concluded that citizenship of any of these six nations is by itself an ‘unlikely indicator’ of a specific threat. By taking a blanket approach such as this, we undercut our principles and increase the threats to national security. Resources are not being focused on specific, credible threats, but on nationalities and religion.
Moreover, refugees to this country already receive the strictest screening of any immigrant, conducted by highly trained government officials. Our democracy and our nation are strengthened, not weakened, by the contributions of those who come to this country in search of a better life.
It’s easy to treat immigrants and refugees as scapegoats. Instead of delaying implementation of this executive order until March 16, the Administration would be well advised to scrap this ban.
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.