Mercy Corps: The U.S. Must Continue to Welcome Refugees

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Global organization opposes executive order ending Syrian refugee program; Calls on public to sign online petition.

At a time when millions of people around the world have fled their homes because of violence, we must remember our country’s proud history: The United States is a beacon of freedom and hope for all people regardless of race, religion or nationality.

The global organization Mercy Corps is alarmed and deeply disappointed by an imminent executive order on refugees from U.S. President Donald J. Trump, and urges him not to sign it. Among the directives listed in a publicly available draft, the president would order an end to the Syrian refugee program, halt the broader U.S. refugee program for 120 days and suspend the issuance of visas for citizens from Syria, Iraq and a number of other Muslim-majority countries for 30 days.

“At a time when millions of people around the world have fled their homes because of violence, we must remember our country’s proud history: The United States is a beacon of freedom and hope for all people regardless of race, religion or nationality,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “These times test us. But now is not the time to forsake our shared values and act out of fear. We should first act out of compassion, especially compassion for the innocent people of Syria whose very survival depends on asylum in other countries.”

The U.S. resettled just over 15,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. According to UNHCR, now more than 4.8 million Syrians are refugees living in many countries, primarily Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. In addition, an estimated 6.6 million Syrians have fled their homes and remain displaced within the country.

“Refugees are not a burden on our communities; they enrich our communities,” says Keny-Guyer.

Mercy Corps urges the American public to sign an online petition and call their representatives in Congress to exert pressure on President Trump not to sign the order. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121, and operators can direct callers to their representatives and senators.

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Christy Delafield
Mercy Corps
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