Today Donald Trump signed a new Executive Order barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in its entirety for 120 days, and dramatically reducing refugee admissions for this year. The new directive seeks to replace the previous Executive Order signed January 27. However it still duplicates the core provisions and maintains the intention of the first one: To discriminate against and scapegoat Muslims and to harm all refugees.
This new Executive Order changes only the following from the first one: - it now exempts green card holders, Iraqi nationals, and persons with current valid visas— but it does not escape the fact that it is a Muslim ban, and that all refugees especially LGBTI refugees are particularly hurt by the suspension.
It continues to target individuals from the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, as well as Syrian refugees in particular. It also hurts all refugees through its 120 day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Program.
This Trump EO is no different in effect from the first. It continues to endanger the lives of refugees fleeing violence and persecution.
Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition Notes: "No refugee’s trauma can be deemed greater than another’s. No refugee’s need or right to resettlement can be judged more important than another’s. However we would be remiss if we did not note the particular dire consequences for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) refugees caught in this ban and suspension.
LGBTI refugees remain at greater risk as many countries which host them during the years of their resettlement process have anti-homosexuality legislation and climates unfriendly to LGBTI people - even toward their own citizens. These LGBTI refugees are not provided the same measure of security and safety that other refugees receive during the resettlement process, often targeted by heterosexual refugees and agents of host governments for further violence and persecution. These refugees should have their process hastened within the context of the already stiff vetting procedures, and not stalled.
The African Human Rights Coalition finds this order by Donald Trump to be reprehensible on every level. It is indicative of extreme ignorance of the process and the basic nature of refugees, who are traumatized and have anything but terrorism as their intent. These are people struggling to survive, and desperate to start new safe and productive lives. Trump has chosen to scapegoat the most marginalized people on this planet. He does not exemplify America values, but rather shames us all.
We condemn the new Executive Order in the strongest terms and call upon our citizens to resist and our elected officials to reject the discriminatory and unjust policies to the absolute maximum extent possible."