Logo for the Center for Victims of Torture

CVT Lauds Block of Egregious Executive Order Barring Refugees

Published January 15, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. & WASHINGTON — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today praised the issuance of a preliminary injunction in HIAS v. Trump, a decision that blocks the president’s executive order which allowed state and local officials to ban refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions.  

“We’re thrilled that Judge Messitte got this right,” said Curt Goering, CVT executive director. “At its core the executive order was an attempt to sow political division throughout the country around the issue of refugee resettlement, and to close doors at both the state and local level to some of the most vulnerable among us, including survivors of torture. It failed, not only because it was patently unlawful, as today’s decision makes clear, but also because it produced a result precisely the opposite of what was intended: when put on the spot, a bipartisan group of 42 governors and over 100 local officials declared publicly that they would continue to welcome refugees. They did so because refugees are our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates; resilient women and men who enrich our communities and boost our economy.

“For the tiny fraction of outlier politicians that refused resettlement under the executive order, including Beltrami County here in Minnesota, it is gratifying to know that their decisions will have no effect. Today’s ruling is also an opportunity for them to reconsider their stance and whether it is truly in the best interest of their communities.”    


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org.

Share this Statement

Related Statements