President Trump’s executive order Friday, calling for “extreme vetting,” suspends refugee admissions to the U.S., and shuts the door on Syrian refugees and other vulnerable families when they are most in need.
Mehrdad Azemun is the campaigns director for People’s Action. His family immigrated from Iran to the United States in the late 1970s. He gave this statement today:
“Had President Trump’s ban on Muslims been in place years ago, my family would have never been able to immigrate to the United States from our home country of Iran. We would have never been able to stay here to contribute to the fabric and community of this country.
“The United States has been a symbolic and real beacon for families affected by war and poverty – that’s what the Statue of Liberty represents. That is part of the essential story of our country. Newcomers, whether they are Jewish refugees during World War II, Central Americans fleeing civil wars in the 1980s, or families like mine, have always looked to the U.S. and knew it as a country that lifted its lamp beside the golden door to the vulnerable, as the famous poem goes.
“This week, President Trump has tried to extinguish that lamp with a cruel, demagogic swipe. His actions and the heartless, racist values that underlie them, diminish our standing in the world and make us less safe – not more. But keep in mind that we, as an organized civil society, will fight with our every breath to keep that lamp aflame and make it blaze.”