Click here for a recording of today’s call.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Faith, law enforcement and business leaders discussed concerns today regarding President Trump’s recent executive orders on refugee resettlement and interior enforcement.
Speakers emphasized the vital contributions of refugees and other immigrants to the American workforce and economy, as well as the importance of law enforcement building trust and safety within communities.
The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:
Police Chief Art Acevedo, Houston:
“We need to find the proper balance between policies that will continue to protect the homeland from terrorism and criminals, but in a way that is thoughtful and doesn’t turn away from 241 years of American values. Law enforcement is on the front lines to keep communities safe, and we rely on relationships of trust, respect and engagement. When orders are issued that have fundamentally tough impacts on our communities and when we have lawful permanent residents being detained, confusion starts taking hold and rumors start flying. Instead of enhancing public safety, it is a detriment to public safety.”
Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Evangelicals:
“Evangelicals have always supported refugee resettlement. It has been a bipartisan commitment of the American people. The refugee program demonstrates basic American values: the dignity of human life, human rights and freedom. We call on our nation to continue our proud heritage of welcoming refugees, and in doing so, we believe we will contribute to saving lives and a more peaceful world.”
Bob Naerebout, Executive Director, Idaho Dairymen’s Association:
“What we’ve found in Idaho is that the contributions of the immigrant labor force help all of us. On the food processing side, refugees fill a void in our facilities. Agriculture is a starting point into the business world, and they move up from there. Refugees now are in management positions and moving up, contributing greatly to our society. They add great value to our rural community and are greatly appreciated.”
Jenny Yang, Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, World Relief:
“We are dismayed and troubled by President Trump’s executive order suspending the refugee resettlement for 120 days. We believe that the executive order fundamentally alters the program and doesn’t take into account how many families are affected. At World Relief, 70 percent of our cases are family reunification cases. These families will bear undue hardship during these several months. We’ve asked the administration to consider shortening the suspension of the program and to reconsider the ban on Syrian refugees so that vulnerable Syrian refugees can continue to be resettled safely to the United States.”
Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:
“While we appreciate the attention to our national security interest, we have serious concerns about these executive orders. We urge members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, to work together to advance constructive solutions on immigration.”