Angelina Jolie is taking a stand against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees. She wrote in an op/ed in the New York Times that she thinks it’s a bad policy.
Jolie’s column — Refugee Policy Should Be Based on Facts, Not Fear — highlights the fact that “giving shelter to the most vulnerable people” is a bedrock of America she is proud of, and reflects “idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion.”
“I have visited countless camps and cities where hundreds of thousands of refugees are barely surviving and every family has suffered...Furthermore, only the most vulnerable people are put forward for resettlement in the first place: survivors of torture, and women and children at risk or who might not survive without urgent, specialized medical assistance,” wrote Jolie.
An expert on the refugee crisis by all accounts, Jolie spent decades working with refugees, and served as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador from 2001 to 2012, and is a UNHCR Special Envoy.
Jolie’s voice against Trump’s refugee policy is one the world cannot ignore.
Acknowledging the importance of national security, and terrorism, Jolie argues:
“The global refugee crisis and the threat from terrorism make it entirely justifiable that we consider how best to secure our borders. Every government must balance the needs of its citizens with its international responsibilities. But our response must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear.”
The current executive order that excludes entire countries relies heavily on the ground of religion and geographic speculation according to Jolie, and others.
President Trump claimed it “was impossible, at least very, very tough” for Christian Syrian refugees to enter the US, using this as justification for a refugee policy that favors religious minorities from majority Muslim countries. Experts, and Jolie, disagree.
“It is simply not true that our borders are overrun or that refugees are admitted to the United States without close scrutiny,” wrote Jolie.
“There are many possible explanations and this certainly doesn’t reflect a general hostility to Christians," said David Martin, an immigration law expert at University of Virginia.
More than 100 former officials — including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice — disagree with the policy criticizing it’s religious discrimination. The former officials signed a letter, also stating that the refugee ban will actually harm national security, instead of its intent to protect against terrorism.
Jolie offered an alternative approach on refugee policy. The humanitarian instead suggests a united and global attitude to combat the undeniably global challenge of terrorism.
“We all want to keep our country safe. So we must look to the sources of the terrorist threat — to the conflicts that give space and oxygen to groups like the Islamic State, and the despair and lawlessness on which they feed. We have to make common cause with people of all faiths and backgrounds fighting the same threat and seeking the same security.”
“This is where I would hope any president of our great nation would lead on behalf of all Americans,” concluded Jolie.