PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Concerned Over Limiting Refugee Admissions

Immediate Release
September 18, 2017
Media Contact: Janine Walsh
(203) 685-1856

Franciscans Concerned Over Limiting Refugee Admissions
“Repulsed” by policies “designed out of fear”

Washington, D.C. - The Franciscan Action Network, an organization dedicated to the Gospel values of life and dignity for all, is deeply concerned by the news that the Trump administration is considering limiting refugee admissions to our nation to fewer than 50,000, the lowest goal in U.S. history. At a time when 1 in every 113 persons on earth is displaced from the land they call home due to violence, war, natural disasters and famine, we are repulsed by the fact that policies regarding these most vulnerable human beings are being designed out of fear.

At a time when the United States should stand strong and take the lead in aiding the victims of this global crisis, we decry the plans to relinquish resources that should be allocated for the strongest refugee resettlement program in the world. We repudiate the proposed limits on refugee resettlement as it will only cause more suffering among our already vulnerable and displaced brothers and sisters. It also will diminish our nation’s founding values and our historic leadership role as a beacon of hope and freedom.

Historically, the U.S. has been a successful leader in resettling refugees. Even after 9/11, when the country’s security concerns were at their highest, President Bush set the cap at the same level as the previous year. That action sent a signal of our commitment, that we still care and want to provide a humanitarian response to refugees.

As Pope Francis stated in his message to Congress two years ago, “Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War… We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation… Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.”

We call on all faith leaders and our representatives in Congress to insist that our nation open its doors to at least 75,000 refugees in 2018. The dramatic reduction proposed by the Trump administration is an offense to our nation’s values and demonstrates the powerlessness of this administration in responding to this global crisis.