Karam Foundation is appalled to read the draft of President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees and other immigrants to the United States of America.

In addition to the proposed harsh visa restrictions, there is a proposed 120-day suspension of the refugee program and indefinite suspension of the Syrian refugee program.

Every year, millions of people flee their homes due to persecution and war, seeking refuge in nearby countries awaiting resettlement. The average time spent in exile for a refugee is 17 years. In addition, the U.S. already applies some of the most stringent screening procedures; to apply for resettlement and be screened for admission to the U.S. already takes up to two years.

This suspension will mean that refugees who have been approved and were close to coming to the U.S. will have to wait even longer until the review has been completed, with some potentially being turned away.

We call on this administration to remember that the United States of America is a country built and enriched by immigrants and refugees. These proposals are deeply shameful and contradict our American values. Every human being deserves the chance to rebuild their lives, including refugees. Like all of us, refugees want the same opportunities for a life of freedom, dignity, and prosperity for themselves and their children.

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