President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. government will stop resettling refugees from Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Iran, discriminating against Muslims, pausing the refugee resettlement program, and reducing the number of refugees we welcome at the very time when they are most in need of safety. This decision flies in the face of our best values of compassion and a tradition of welcoming. With more than 65 million people now forcibly displaced in the world – the most in recorded history – it is more important than ever to take action by condemning this new policy.
The following is a statement from Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, executive director of Long Island Wins:
“This announcement is gut-wrenching for many of our refugee community members who are waiting to be reunited with a sister, brother, parent or child, and for refugees overseas with no other options for safety than to be resettled in the U.S. We cannot discriminate against refugees for how they pray or where they are from. Many refugees from Muslim countries are themselves victims of persecution and atrocities, and they need our protection. Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people in the United States, undergoing biographic and biometric checks, medical screenings, forensic document testing, and in-person interviews.”
The following is a statement from the Co-Chairs of Long Island Wins:
“The Islamic Center of Long Island’s (ICLI) community understands the fear and concern that surrounds terrorism. We also cherish the ideals that have made our country great. Tolerance, freedom of expression, association and religion. Walling off our nation in an attempt to shut out terrorism is naive as it is defeatist. Our strength is our diversity. Our future is the arrival of new talents, cultures, intellect and experiences.”
To deny an entire nation from entering our country on the basis of religion and a supposed link to terrorism is short sighted. We urge the US reject this knee jerk reaction and focus on bringing the Nation together from within as opposed to walling us off from the imagined threats from the without.” – Dr. Isma Chaudhry, President of ICLI and Co-Chair of Long Island Wins
“It is certainly a sad day for all immigrant communities. History has been a good witness to what really happens when a group is targeted because of their race, religion or color. It starts with small steps and fear mongering and creeps its way into anything the Power-to-be’s don’t like usually in the order of media, progressive thinkers, intellectuals, artists, and people of color. It could happen very fast if unchecked. The USA must remain a beacon of hope for all humanity as it has been in the past. Refugees come here for survival, not to act as agents for terrorism.” – Sadri Altinok, Co-Chair, Long Island Wins