The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns strongly objects to President Trump’s revised version of the executive order on travel restrictions, which restricts entry for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and significantly decreases the number of refugees to the United States per year from 110,000 to 50,000. Despite revisions, the travel ban undermines the United States’ ability to be a place of refuge and hope, and clashes with our core values.
“We cannot let fear blind us to the despair of migrants and refugees, including refugees from Syria and from different faith traditions,” Gerry Lee, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, said.
Pope Francis proclaimed that “refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women, and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes… the flesh of Christ is in the flesh of the refugees.”
The faithful response is not to build a wall or to discriminate against Muslims, but to open our hearts and our homes to migrants in need and refugees of all faiths in recognition of our sacred call to protect and nourish life.
If we refuse to welcome migrants and refugees in urgent need, we risk violating core values of the United States, namely, as Dr. King said, that persons are to be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, their faith or ethnicity, or place of origin. By demonstrating love and respect for the dignity of each person and by welcoming strangers, we can transform broken relationships, bring light to an otherwise dark existence, and lead the world on the path to lasting, sustainable peace.