search
Sections List
American Journal News

Christian groups furious at Trump over new rule to keep out refugees

Refugee rights organizations say Donald Trump previously pledged to help Christian refugees but has failed them.

By Donna Provencher - October 02, 2020
Share
Christian Syrian family flees Turkish invasion, Oct. 17, 2019

On Wednesday, hours before the start of the new fiscal year, Donald Trump slashed the number of refugees to be allowed into the United States to an all-time low, drawing the ire of groups devoted to the rights of those fleeing religious persecution.

The Trump administration will cap the number of refugees accepted at only 15,000 this fiscal year, a historically low number, citing the “ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” by way of rationale.

The White House occupant has repeatedly decreased the quota, mostly recently last year, from 35,000 to 18,000, already a record low.

Leaders of Christian refugee rights and resettlement organizations have condemned this step as a massive breach of promises made to religious refugees.

Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, noted that soon after he took office, Donald Trump specifically promised to protect Christian refugees in the Middle East.

“Instead, we’ve seen the resettlement of refugees from countries known for persecution drop about 90%, in some cases, over the last four years,” said Arbeiter. “This is unconscionable.”

John McCullough, head of the Church World Service, decried Trump for “cruel, racist, and partisan goals” in a statement that said the proposed refugee resettlement number — 80% lower than “historic norms” — is “unacceptable.”

“Our values as a nation and as people of faith demand that we take action when people’s lives are in danger,” McCullough added.

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a national resettlement agency, said that at a time of “unprecedented global need,” Trump’s decision to slash the refugee cap is “a complete abdication of our humanitarian and moral duty.”

“Let this serve as a wake-up call to those who believe this administration supports avenues of legal immigration,” she said.

Joe F. Vasquez, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, has called the Trump administration refugee caps “deeply disturbing.”

“To cut off protection for many who are fleeing persecution, at a time of unprecedented global humanitarian need, contradicts who we are as a nation,” Vasquez said.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has insisted, in the teeth of the evidence, that the United States remains an exemplary model of refugee relief.

“We continue to be the single-greatest contributor to the relief of humanitarian crisis all around the world,” Pompeo recently remarked. “We will continue to do so, certainly so long as President Trump is in office.”

But his claims are belied by Trump’s own words, as when he earlier this week threatened Minnesotans would see a “historic flood of refugees” if they voted for Biden. The Democratic nominee would turn the state into a “refugee camp,” he said, “overcrowding schools” and “inundating” hospitals.

Trump’s broken promises to religious refugees are well documented.

Just after Trump assumed office, he told the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christians in the Middle East had been “horribly treated” and that he would make it a priority to protect them from religious persecution.

“We are going to help them,” he said of Christians fleeing Syria.

 At the 2017 World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that vow.

“Protecting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of the Trump administration,” Pence said.

But it wasn’t long before Trump sent ICE to round up, detain, and attempt to deport Iraqi nationals living in the United States — mostly Chaldean Christians, but Kurdish and Sunni Muslims as well.

In fact, the ACLU uncovered documents indicating the United States had actively colluded with the Iraqi government in the process of deporting those refugees back to a country where they would almost certainly face religious persecution.

But it wasn’t always this way. For three decades prior to Trump, the refugee ceiling had not been set below 70,000.

And there’s still hope for the United States to reverse course.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has promised if elected to restore the quota to a more compassionate 125,000.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation


Read More
AJ News
Latest
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

By Kelcie Moseley-Morris, Idaho Capital Sun - April 19, 2024
Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

By Katie O'Brien Kelley, Michigan Advance - April 19, 2024
New NC GOP chair flirts with bogus stolen election conspiracies

New NC GOP chair flirts with bogus stolen election conspiracies

By Jesse Valentine - April 19, 2024
Democrat Lucas Kunce’s fundraising surge could be a game changer for Missouri Senate race

Democrat Lucas Kunce’s fundraising surge could be a game changer for Missouri Senate race

By Jesse Valentine - April 18, 2024
Republican Laurie Buckhout attends event hosted by convicted sex offender

Republican Laurie Buckhout attends event hosted by convicted sex offender

By Jesse Valentine - April 17, 2024
Women harmed by abortion restrictions campaign against Trump in Wisconsin

Women harmed by abortion restrictions campaign against Trump in Wisconsin

By Baylor Spears, Wisconsin Examiner - April 17, 2024