Dear President Trump,
Around the world, 8 million Global Citizens are proudly citizens of both their nations and the whole world. Four million of us are in the United States of America, and today, we want to convey our deep disappointment and disagreement in your Executive Order on “extreme vetting of refugees."
As Global Citizens, we know that opposing viewpoints are a vital part of any robust political discussion. We work with all sides of politics to ensure that governments continue play a leading role in ending extreme poverty.
However, there are also basic values that we believe are foundational to the fabric of American democracy — like not discriminating on the basis of religion and nationality.
You crossed that line through your Executive Order on refugees.
Refugees are the most vulnerable fellow citizens on our planet, fleeing unimaginable horrors of conflict, persecution, and disaster.
Americans know this, because we have repeatedly opened our arms to those seeking safety — those fleeing the Holocaust, the Cuban Revolution, Communism, and dictators over decades.
American leadership created the Refugee Convention, and today, you are walking away from it by instigating a policy that explicitly discriminates on the basis of religion and nationality.
Your Executive Order suspends immigration to the US from seven countries, each with a Muslim majority — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
You stated that this not a ban on Muslims — however you made a specific exemption for those of a “minority religion” in each of these countries — a phrase that can only be interpreted to exclude Muslims.
Mr. President, a refugee is a vulnerable human being, regardless of faith or nationality.
America already employs the most stringent vetting and background checks for refugees on the planet. Your Executive Order tars citizens of these countries with the accusation of terrorism. None of the perpetrators of the major US terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam in the past 15 years have come from the nations specified in the executive order.
Your stated reason for the policy is untrue, unfair, and un-American. It walks away from decades of American leadership on refugees, and in fact increases the dangers of terrorism. It goes against the very words that welcomed successive generations of those fleeing persecution to our shores at the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Mr. President, we call on you to reverse course immediately,