BALTIMORE, MD – World Relief expresses dismay at the Trump Administration’s decision to place a 120-day moratorium on the Refugee Admissions Program, and to indefinitely exclude refugees from many of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“The lengthy delay imposed in this ban further traumatizes refugees, most of whom are women and children, keeps families separated and punishes people who are themselves fleeing the terror we as a nation are rightly fighting to end,” said Scott Arbeiter, World Relief President.
The security risks in the United States must not be confused with those in Europe where an unregulated flow of refugees both by sea and land present enormous challenges. No refugee enters the United States who is not approved by the State Department and vetted with great care by the department of Homeland Security and other US agencies. This process, often lasting 18-24 months, includes biometric scans, multiple interviews, and other safeguards.
“We live in a dangerous world and it is right that we take security seriously. The American people are rightly asking for transparency on the measures taken to safeguard our homeland. However, World Relief does not believe compassion and security have to be mutually exclusive. While it is wise to always work to increase effectiveness, a lengthy and complete ban is not necessary to meet our commitment to security, transparency, and compassion,” said Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief.
World Relief’s mission is to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable. The organization has done so, in part, by resettling refugees under seven different presidential administrations for nearly forty years. World Relief calls on the administration to commit the resources needed for a rapid restoration of this life-saving program, which represents the historic compassion and courage of the American people.
“We stand with refugees. Standing with us are many thousands of American citizens in congregations and communities across the nation who have joined us in this cause. We do so remembering that many of our ancestors came to this nation fleeing the persecution of their day. In a day in which the world faces the greatest humanitarian crisis we have known we cannot be slow to act. Far too much is at risk,” said Arbeiter.
World Relief has publicly and privately expressed its willingness to work with the incoming administration to improve the program while ensuring greater understanding and greater confidence in its existing strengths.
To learn more about World Relief’s efforts to care for refugees already in the United States and in vulnerable communities abroad, visit: worldrelief.org/welcome.
World Relief – World Relief is a global humanitarian aid and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief has 25 offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services, and works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding.