OCTOBER 25, 2017
Washington, D.C. - Poligon Education Fund condemns President Trump’s executive order to institute “extreme vetting” procedures for refugees seeking admittance into the United States, along with a 90-day restriction on refugee resettlement for stateless Palestinians and citizens from 11 countries. Unofficial reports indicate that the 11 countries come from a pre-existing list of countries designated for Security Advisory Opinion refugee screenings, and nine of the countries - Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen - are predominantly Muslim.
In addition to new mandates including social media checks, the executive order requires refugee status applicants to provide detailed background information such as employment for the past ten years, doubling the existing requirement of five years. Applicants will also be required to list addresses for all immediate family members, which could be infeasible if some family members are also escaping conflict.
"Refugees already go through a rigorous vetting process to gain entry to the United States, and there is no evidence that refugees are a security threat to our country," said Afif Rahman, Acting Executive Director of Poligon Education Fund. "These burdensome new requirements will severely reduce the number of refugees admitted. By specifically targeting countries with large Muslim populations, this executive order reflects a flawed, prejudiced view of Muslims as inherently threatening to our national security. It is effectively a refugee ban and a Muslim ban by another name, and it goes against our country’s values of rejecting religious and ethnic discrimination."
Poligon supports the continuation of the United States’ tradition of welcoming refugees, and continues to work with members of Congress toward this end. With the administration’s repeated use of divisive rhetoric and promulgation of unfounded narratives and discriminatory policies around refugee resettlements, Congress must urgently execute its responsibility to block such an irresponsible course of action and protect the promise of the United States as a land of prosperity and refuge for all.
Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization working to strengthen Muslim American engagement with Congress through research and education on issues of concern to the community and its allies. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.