The Refugee Ban’s Devastating Effect | The Center for Victims of Torture

The Refugee Ban’s Devastating Effect

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

In the midst of protests occurring at airports across the country, CVT participated in a small roundtable discussion the last weekend in January with Senators Klobuchar and Franken on the impact of the Executive Order (EO) on refugees issued last Friday. Curt Goering, CVT executive director and Pete Dross, CVT external relations director, joined about a dozen or so leaders of nonprofit organizations and lawyers working with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants as well as a number of individuals who came to the U.S. as refugees. Each person present had an opportunity to convey to the Senators how their work would likely be or was already being impacted by the Trump Administration’s EO and approach toward refugees.  Attendees heard story after story of the devastating impact of the EO, of lives disrupted and hopes for families to be reunified dashed, often after waiting years to be rejoined with relatives here. 

A main theme emerged: the current atmosphere is having a devastating effect on refugees.  Attendees said that people feel terrified, betrayed and confused as fears for their safety and uncertainty about their future has skyrocketed.  The group shared stories of parents separated from children and others losing all hope. The Senators appeared very moved by what they heard. Senator Klobuchar became emotional at the following press conference when she described some of the cases she had just heard. 

As CVT’s work is so impacted by this and other EOs issued (and others that may come), we are doing everything we possibly can at the policy level to fight these actions which are so detrimental to survivor rehabilitation. On their behalf and on behalf of all refugee populations, we're also active in making sure policy makers and the public understand how cruel, callous and, ultimately, counterproductive the latest EO is to our country.  America's legacy as a safe new home to refugees fleeing for their lives must be protected.

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