While US elected officials have an obligation to protect the security of Americans, denying entry to desperate refugees will not make the country safer, said the president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services.
Sean Callahan, head of CRS, said, ‘Welcoming those in need is part of America’s DNA.
‘CRS welcomes measures that will make our country safer, but (such measures) shouldn’t jeopardise the safety of those fleeing violence (and) should not add appreciable delay nor entail unjust discrimination,’ he said in a statement released on 26th January.
Callahan was anticipating a presidential memorandum on national security, a draft of which calls for suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. The suspension would allow officials at the state and homeland security departments to review the application and decision-making process and determine the need for additional procedures to ensure that refugees approved for admission do not pose a threat to the US.
Once the refugee admissions process resumes, refugee claims would be reviewed and those fleeing religious persecution would be prioritised as long as they fled a nation where their religion is in the minority, according to the draft, which President Donald Trump had not signed by 26th January.
Picture: People protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies during a demonstration near the White House in Washington on 25th January. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz).