President Donald Trump has issued an Executive Order that has devastating impacts on refugee resettlement in the United States. The Executive Order:
- Halts the entire refugee admissions program for 120 days to determine additional security vetting procedures;
- Cuts the number of refugees admitted in FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000;
- Suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria;
- Suspends the issuance of visas to individuals from countries of concern, including Syria, Iraq, Iran and other countries.
The U.S. refugee resettlement program is a life-saving program for the most vulnerable of the world's refugees. Welcoming people fleeing violence and conflict in various regions of the world is part of our identity as Catholics. We seek to protect the vulnerable and recognize the human dignity of all. Moreover, when the United States through its resettlement program shares responsibility with refugee host countries, it helps the refugees, supports the countries, and helps to enhance peace, security, and stability to sensitive regions in the world. Today, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the need for the U.S. to show leadership in welcoming refugees and provide freedom from persecution is more urgent than ever.
Refugees who come through the program go through a rigorous, extensive vetting process. The Executive Order halts the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days, including those who have already gone through up to two years of vetting. This will affect some families already in transit. Standing up for refugees and for the life-saving resettlement program is consistent with our values as Americans and as Catholics.