BALTIMORE, MD – In a New York Time editorial piece reflecting on the one year anniversary of the Trump administration’s infamous Travel Ban, World Relief’s U.S. Director of Church Mobilization Matthew Soerens believes “the impact of the Trump policies has proved disastrous.”
The article points to the 29,725 refugees that have been admitted to the U.S. in the past year, a remarkably low number compared to the 99,183 admitted just one year earlier. Additionally, the U.S. is not on pace to even reach half of the historically low threshold of 45,000 refugees this fiscal year, a target set by the Trump administration. Soerens also highlights the fact that despite the president’s promise to prioritize persecuted Christians, 27,000 fewer were resettled this year compared to the previous year.
World Relief, one of the largest refugee resettlement organizations in the country, works to empower the church to fulfill its mandate to care for the vulnerable and the stranger, calling upon Christians across the U.S. to welcome refugees from all walks of life with open arms.
Last year, World Relief along with several other evangelical Christian leaders took out a one-page advertisement in the Washington Post and wrote a letter sharing its disappointment and opposition to the president’s policy towards refugees.
In the op-ed, Soerens points out that the topic is personal to him, citing many refugees from his own neighborhood who still have family members in war-torn lands, and who are often times facing violent persecution. Soerens points out that many of these family members have been denied entry to the U.S. under the Trump administration.
The travel ban was touted as a way to prevent terrorist attacks on our shores, but Soerens references a Cato Institute report that proves refugees are not to blame for such attacks. In fact, he contends, an astounding 78% of all lives lost as a result of terrorist attacks in the U.S. dating back to 2002 “have been perpetrated by native-born Americans.” Furthermore, Soerens concludes, “Refugees, who are subjected to a more thorough vetting process than that of any other visitors or immigrants, have not taken a single American life in a terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980 was passed into law.”
Soerens urges the president to reverse his position, stating, “It’s not too late for our leaders to examine the facts, apply the values of the faith traditions that inspire many Americans’ concern for refugees, and change course.”
To learn more about World Relief’s efforts to care for refugees already in the United States and in vulnerable communities around the world, visit: worldrelief.org/welcome.
MEDIA NOTE: Matthew Soerens is available for further comment on the topics of immigration reform, DACA and DREAMers, and the Travel Ban. Please email email@example.com call (424) 341-1912.
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.