In response to the latest Presidential executive order on the refugee admissions program Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead, made the following statement:
“Oxfam is deeply concerned about the impacts President Trump’s latest executive order will have on thousands of vulnerable refugees fleeing violence and persecution. This latest series of changes to the program will have severe long-term consequences for nearly every refugee awaiting safety.
The resettlement process is a well-tuned machine with hundreds of moving parts, not a light switch that can be turned off and on. President Trump claims that he took these measures to protect our country, but the facts simply do not support those claims. National security is not an either or proposition, and critics of our refugee resettlement program should stop peddling untruths and take a hard look at the program, which already included multiple levels of background checks and investigations. The US refugee resettlement program is the world’s largest and most stringent, making refugees by the far the most scrutinized people coming into our country.
For vulnerable refugees from 11 countries who will now face an additional waiting period, they are watching as their hopes of finding safety in the US quickly fade. This temporary suspension effectively resets the clock for the thousands who have waited years to be granted entry to the US as their medical and security checks expire. In some cases, refugees who were on the brink of admission might never make it here at all. Pausing or changing the process will not make us any safer; instead it will cause massive harm to tens of thousands of people.
The United States has long recognized its moral responsibility to serve as a safe haven for those fleeing violence and persecution in search of freedom and opportunity, and we must uphold those fundamental values.”