Raymond Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America said:
“President Trump must not slam the door on refugees who urgently need the help of the United States. If the President and Congress deny safe refuge to thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people, they would be breaking with 40 years of bipartisan American policy – and over 200 years of American tradition – by turning their backs on innocent people in their hour of need.
Critics of our refugee resettlement program should stop peddling untruths and take a hard look at the program, which includes multiple levels of background checks and investigations that make refugees by far the most scrutinized people coming into our country. It is the most rigorous screening someone who wants to enter this country must undergo. As a country founded by immigrants and enriched by all of those who have arrived on our shores since our founding, we have offered safety to hundreds of thousands of people in need from around the world. They in turn have gone on to work in and contribute to every industry in our country from agriculture to medicine, from technology to our armed forces and police. Refugees are revitalizing the communities in which they are living, contributing their experience and energy to our workforce, and creating new jobs and economic opportunity. Denying entry to our country and safe haven from harm to people who need the help of the US is an affront to the freedoms we hold dear and makes us less, not more, safe by demonstrating that we as Americans are willing to throw out our core values.
We must not forsake these people in their time of need, nor can we forsake what it means to be an American. Oxfam calls on elected officials to reject calls to dismantle the refugee resettlement program, so that our country may continue to live up to the noble values upon which the US was founded.
Oxfam works with refugees and conflict-affected people in Syria, Sudan, Iraq and beyond. The refugees seeking to come to the US represent just a tiny fraction - less than half a percent - of the millions displaced around the globe. Offering safe haven to these women, men, and children alongside robust support to refugees and the neighboring countries hosting them, is a longstanding expression of US values and at the core of our identity. Now is not the time to reverse course.”