Conyers, Kildee, Dingell & Lawrence: Trump's Immigration Order Represents "Unprecedented Break with America's Humanitarian Tradition"
Members Stand United Against Divisive Efforts
Washington, DC, January 27, 2017
Today, President Trump issued an executive order drastically altering our refugee and visa system. In response, Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (MI-14), Dan Kildee (MI-5), Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) issued the following joint statement:
“By seeking to halt all refugee admissions in the short term, and slash the number of refugee admissions to a modern historic low, today’s order betrays our proud heritage as a Nation of immigrants and a place of refuge. And by banning all visas and admissions from exclusively Muslim-majority nations, this order constitutes a thinly veiled ban on entry based on religion, betraying America’s cardinal commitment to freedom of belief.
“Throughout our history our Nation has granted safe haven to families fleeing persecution, violence, terror, sexual slavery, and torture. In doing so we have not only acted morally, but we have added to our own strength, vitality and diversity. Unfortunately, the order issued by Mr. Trump today represents an unprecedented break with our humanitarian tradition and role as a beacon of freedom.
“As Members of Congress, we take a back seat to no one in our Nation’s efforts to combat the ongoing threat of terrorism. That is why our refugee system already extensively vets and confirms every individual seeking entry to our country, subjecting them to a series of security screenings and checking against multiple law enforcement data bases. But giving in to our worst fears -- as this order does -- will do nothing to make America safer or weaken our adversaries. This is why we stand united in our opposition to these efforts to divide us, and pledge to work together to reject intolerance, discrimination, and hate however and wherever we can – whether in our communities, in Congress, or in the Courts.”
The executive order issued today by President Trump would, among other things: (i) halt for 90 days all visas and admissions of noncitizens from a number of Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen); (ii) enact a 120 day ban on all refugees from entering the United States and shut down the Syrian refugee program indefinitely; (iii) reduce by more than half the ceiling for worldwide refugee admissions; (iv) impose a potential “Values Test” against immigrants seeking entry into the United States.