Refugee cap unreasonable and unacceptable

By Matt Ryan, Holy Name Province Postulant and FAN Intern

September 27, 2017

Last week, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) issued a press release voicing our Refugee Cap PCconcern over limiting the refugee admissions to the country. Today, FAN attended a press conference hosted by the Church World Service and several other organizations opposing the 45,000 cap on refugees proposed by the Trump Administration. Rev. Dr. Earl Trent, Board Chairman of the Church World Service; Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Leaders Circle Member of Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees; and former Liberian refugee Faith Cooper all called the Trump administration to task for proposing dramatic reductions in refugee admissions during what is arguably the worst refugee crisis in the history of the world. Together they knocked on a framed door, symbolizing the proposed cap limit, before opening it and passing through the threshold to approach Congress.

Legislation in 1980 gave the U.S. President a role in capping the number of refugees entering our country. No president has proposed a cap lower than 67,000. President Obama proposed 110,000 last year. A cap of 45,000 admissions during the current humanitarian crises is not just a moral outrage, but also undermines American leadership and therefore, paradoxically, its own security. This is unreasonable and unacceptable.

Pope Francis has called all Catholic parishes throughout the world to sponsor a refugee family- to actually physically welcome refugees into our homes and churches. It is our duty to love our neighbor, to feed the hungry, and to clothe the naked.

While it may be difficult to intellectually process the difference between 45,000 people and 110,000 people, because numbers are so impersonal, we must remember these numbers concern real people. Tens of thousands of families. Each with hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

That point was driven home by Ms. Cooper’s powerful testimony about her journey to America. As a young girl in civil-war-torn Liberia in the 1990’s, she and the surviving members of her family fled to the Ivory Coast and then to Ghana. While waiting to emigrate to America, they spent five years as a refugees being vetted to ensure they were not health or security threats to the United States. After a long and difficult process, Ms. Cooper and her family were able to emigrate to the U.S. It was possible to be compassionate, realistic, and properly vet refugees in the 1990’s and that should be a goal now.

Nearly every American has an immigration narrative in their extended history. The refugees are our neighbors and ourselves. We can do better than this, Mr. President. We are better than this. We urge members to send this tweet to the president: “People of Faith want @POTUS to allow more #refugees then 45,000. #RefugeesWelcome @franciscanNet”

Peace and All Good

Published in: on September 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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