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We Must Uphold the American Values of Opportunity and Welcome
March 16, 2017

We Must Uphold the American Values of Opportunity and Welcome
(Aleppo, Syria)
At JRS/USA, we are responding to the needs of refugees by fighting to uphold the American values of opportunity and welcome.

Update: March 16, 2017

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauds the decisions yesterday of two federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland to delay the implementation of President Trump's rewritten travel ban for refugees and nationals of six Muslim majority countries, which would otherwise have taken effect today. 

Like the original ban, the revised Executive Order would have been in direct contradiction of fundamental American values of non-discrimination and welcome to the most vulnerable people seeking refuge in our community. We will continue to advocate for just and generous policies that truly reflect our great American traditions and the call of the Catholic Church to welcome the stranger.

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is greatly disappointed by the Trump Administration's issuance of a revised Executive Order banning the entry of travelers from six Muslim majority countries into the United States for ninety days, suspending the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and slashing the number of planned refugee admissions by more than half. 

While this new order has been artfully reworded to remove some of the most obvious legally-objectionable provisions of the original order, it still arbitrarily asserts that the security of the United States demands extreme measures to prevent the entry of persons of certain nationalities into our country. The UNHCR explains more about refugee resettlement in the US.

Both orders severely limit the ability of the U.S. to rescue suffering victims of war and persecution – the vast majority of them women and children - by denying them access to resettlement in communities eager to offer them a welcome home.  This shameful policy flies in the face of American humanitarian values and does damage to our international reputation as a caring and responsible society.

“The world is deeply troubled, and many of our brothers and sisters are justifiably terrified. Our Catholic and Jesuit identity calls us to welcome the stranger and to approach different faith traditions and cultures with openness and understanding. We must not give in to fear. We must continue to defend human rights and religious liberty,” said Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., Interim Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.

At Jesuit Refugee Service, we are responding to the needs of refugees by fighting to uphold the American values of opportunity and welcome. We are redoubling our efforts to provide help to refugees who wait in limbo in camps and settlements. Our life-changing educational services, counseling, livelihoods training and emergency support are critical to refugees, the most vulnerable among us.

How can you help?

Donate today towards programs supporting refugees in their countries

Urge the President and your policymakers to rescind these harmful executive orders 



Press Contact Information
Ms Chelsea Dickson
jrscommunications@jesuits.org
202-629-5946