Revised travel ban persists in repudiation of American values

BOSTON, March 7, 2017 – The MIRA Coalition denounces in the strongest possible terms the revised executive order issued today by the Trump Administration in an effort to circumvent the court order that blocked the original travel ban issued on January 27. This new EO would suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, and stop for 90 days the issuance of visas for travelers from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, with an exception for U.S. lawful permanent residents.

Iraq was removed from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries in the original ban. The order also cuts by more than half the cap on the number of refugees accepted each year, from 110,000 to 50,000.

“Though this new executive order makes some changes in an effort to address legal challenges, it persists in the same dangerous and xenophobic logic that banning Muslims and refugees will make the United States a safer place,” said MIRA Executive Director Eva Millona. “This executive order is another repudiation of our nation’s long and bipartisan tradition of providing protection to those fleeing violence and terror throughout the world, as well as of our ideals of civil rights and religious inclusion.”

The new ban will trap thousands of vulnerable refugees – the most rigorously vetted group of immigrants – in a potentially risky limbo for many months, including denying many needed medical care and reunification with family members. It will also disrupt the lives of tens of thousands of foreign nationals who live and work in the U.S. and contribute to our communities and our economy, many of them with citizen or lawful permanent resident family members here.

“This ban will harm American families and American businesses and will not make us safer,” Millona added. “Rather, it will only serve to promote fear and division in this country, and build support in the Middle East for the very forces it seeks to combat. By his words and actions our new President has made it clear that he intends to govern a nation where communities are divided and pitted against one another. The people of Massachusetts will not sit idly by in the face of such attacks, but will stand united to protect the most vulnerable among us.”