Dear President Trump
I am writing to express my deep concern about the new Executive Order which reinstates a discriminatory travel ban and suspends the US refugee resettlement program. The travel ban and the far-reaching changes to the US refugee admission programme will have a drastic impact on some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world. Refugees due to be resettled in the US have been selected because of the gravity of the suffering they have endured while fleeing conflict and persecution. They must go through a lengthy vetting process before entering the US. With the signing of this latest Executive Order, their hopes of finally reaching safety in the US will be dashed, adding yet more needless suffering to their lives. Attempting to justify blatant discrimination in the interests of national security is disingenuous. Playing with the lives of refugees due for resettlement is unconscionable. People fleeing conflict and insecurity in countries like Syria, Yemen and Somalia are not a security threat; they are refugees in need of protection. Banning people from these countries will not make America safer. Historically, the United States has been a global leader on refugee resettlement, offering protection to those most in need. I call on you to maintain this vital commitment to refugees, and urge you to immediately revoke the Executive Order, which is in violation of the principle of non-discrimination, codified in articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and which undermines the US government’s obligations in relation to the 1951 Refugee Convention.
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