The Syria Solidarity Campaign absolutely condemns Donald Trump’s Executive Order, signed on Friday January 27th, that explicitly bans Syrian refugee resettlement permanently. Syrian refugees are fleeing a devastating war that has killed over half a million people and displaced more than half of Syria’s population since 2011. The UNHCR has registered nearly 5 million refugees from Syria – Syrian refugees make up almost a quarter of all refugees registered globally.
Not only has this policy been poorly designed, but the implementation of the order began as soon as Donald Trump signed the order, which meant that any refugees in flight or scheduled to fly to the United States to relocate were immediately barred. Since the refugee vetting process takes so long, it means that some refugees who believed they were going to be resettled soon in the United States have had their hopes and dreams dashed.
The Executive Order was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day where many remembered Jewish refugees who were turned away from the United States and later died in the Holocaust. Tragically, this xenophobic behaviour is repeating itself today with Syrian refugees.
The United States is not absolved from their duty as a signatory to the Geneva Convention to accept Syrian refugees on humanitarian grounds. We urge the Trump Administration to rescind the order barring Syrian refugees.