On Friday January 27th 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order stopping resettlement of all refugees in the United States for 120 days and banning nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days by executive order. The order bars all people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The executive order also bans entry of those fleeing from war-torn Syria indefinitely.
The Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of CWS, has said:
“CWS is staunchly opposed and gravely disheartened by this callous, discriminatory decision, which turns our backs on refugees when they are most in need of safety. Make no mistake––by restricting access to resettlement for refugees from Syria and other countries and simultaneously preferencing religious minorities, President Trump is manifesting the ‘Muslim ban’ that he threatened on the campaign trail. This is a clear case of religious discrimination and must be decried as such. My heart is heavy for refugees who believed our promise to them; for their family members who are here and desperately waiting to be reunited with their sister, brother, parent or child; and for the very soul of this nation.”
The Shenandoah Valley community has risen up to stand with refugees and immigrants through advocacy efforts and rallying in Court Square. Below are more resources about how you can stay informed and stay involved to support refugees in this difficult time:
You Can Get Involved!
- Follow CWS Harrisonburg Refugee Resettlement on Facebook for up to date information and calls to action.
- Connect your own local efforts to the broader movement by using the hashtag #Greateras1 to tag your photos and videos supporting refugees and immigrants. You can learn more about the #Greateras1 campaign on the website of our friends at Rocktown Rallies. You can even submit your photos, videos, and stories to help the advocacy effort!
- Also make sure to follow Rocktown Rallies at their website and Facebook page.
- No government decision is the last word, and a government by the people has to know how the people feel, so contact your elected officials — OFTEN!
- As always, spread the word with people you know. Share the truth behind the misconceptions, that refugees mean no harm to the American way of life but rather help the community through a rich diversity of new perspectives.
- Lend your voice to the Moveon.org petition against halting refugee resettlement.
- Monetary donations are always appreciated and can be made online.
- Read the full text of the order here.
- The refugeecenter.org website has a great resource on how this executive order effects refugees and immigrants, with information translated into 14 languages, including Arabic, Kurdish, and Swahili.
- Stay informed by reading up on the facts, such as these ten useful talking points and check out the resources at CWS Global.