Statement from IRIS 2

March 6, 2017


New Executive Order maintains a Shameful and Reckless Ban on Refugees

60,000 people will suffer.

IRIS calls on all Americans to oppose the order.


IRIS opposes the revised Executive Order issued today, calling it a shameful and reckless ban on refugees. The order places 60,000 children, women, and men in danger and decimates US refugee resettlement efforts.  This ban specifically targets those least able to advocate for themselves and feeds the propaganda of extremists.

Make no mistake – with this revised order, the Trump administration again attempts to shut our nation’s doors to some of the most vulnerable people in the world and to irrationally and illegally discriminate based on nationality and religion.  Although the administration might try to portray this order as more targeted, the intent and effect remain the same – to halt the refugee program and ban Muslims from entering the country.  

After federal courts put on hold President Trump’s Executive Order from January 27th, the White House issued today a revision that bans travelers from 6 Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, suspends the refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and drastically reduces the number of refugees to be admitted this fiscal year from 110,000 to 50,000.  No US president has ever set the refugee resettlement goal this low.

The United States will turn its back on 60,000 refugees whom it promised to protect—over half of whom are children.  This is at a time when the world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis since World War II.  The impact will be felt for years to come. 

The executive order purports to protect us from terrorist acts by foreign nationals. In fact, refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people in the United States, undergoing extremely rigorous security screenings, including biographic and biometric checks, forensic document testing, and in-person interviews which last over two years.  Excluding refugees, the most vetted and most vulnerable population, helps terror groups by providing yet another platform to undermine America on the world stage.  This executive order does not make the US safer.

This refugee ban arises from discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes that are in direct opposition to the core American value of welcoming persecuted people to the US. In Connecticut, we are proud to have welcoming communities and have seen an outpouring of compassion, engagement, and philanthropy, especially in the weeks since the original Executive Order. Our neighbors see the undeniable truths of how refugees enrich our lives and strengthen our economy.

We call on members of this new administration and the 115th Congress to do everything in their power to reverse this refugee ban.  We ask all Americans to join IRIS in opposing this Order and advocating for a restored refugee program that keeps our promise to 60,000 persecuted people and maintains our commitment to American ideals.