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Replacement Executive Order on Refugees Fails to Uphold American Values

Published March 6, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. and WASHINGTON —The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) issued the following statement in response to the revised Executive Order signed today by President Trump that suspends the U.S. refugee resettlement program and prevents foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from obtaining visas to enter the United States.

“After facing legal challenges in courts throughout the country following the chaotic rollout of the first refugee ban signed by President Trump in late January, this Administration has relaunched its effort to prevent survivors of torture, persecution and war from finding safe harbor in United States.  As global forced displacement is at a record high, this Administration is again shutting its doors at a time when U.S. leadership is needed more than ever.”

“The U.S. refugee resettlement program serves important security, foreign policy and humanitarian functions. It has been a fundamental pillar of U.S. global engagement for almost four decades as it saves lives, reunites families, supports U.S. allies abroad, and gives survivors of torture, persecution and war the opportunity to rebuild their lives in a home that offers liberty, stability and security.  The refugees who make it through the extremely rigorous vetting process and are selected for resettlement to the United States are among less than one percent of refugees globally.  For people who cannot return home and are living in limbo in their first country of refuge, getting a chance to be resettled to the United States is often full of hope and the potential for them to rebuild their lives and offer new opportunities—free from war and oppression—to their children. Refugees coming through that program rejoice at the opportunity to help enrich the American economy and society. The United States should not turn its back on them, just as it should not turn its back on core American values.”

“CVT calls on Congress to rescind this Executive Order and urges the Trump Administration to take all necessary steps to restart the refugee resettlement program as quickly as possible, and to ensure that survivors of torture arriving in the United States have access to specialized care.” —Annie Sovcik, director of the Washington, D.C. office


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