Media CenterCRS Rejects New Executive Order on Refugees

Photo by Kira Horvath for CRS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
kim.pozniak@crs.org
410-951-7281

En español

 

BALTIMORE, MD, March 6, 2017 -- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) opposes the new Executive Order on refugees, noting that while every Administration has an obligation to protect its citizens, the United States need not halt resettlement to undertake a security review.

“The fact is, refugees already undergo significant vetting - more than any other traveler to the United States,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS’ Vice President for Advocacy. “Any review should be undertaken quickly and in good faith.”

CRS responded swiftly to reject the new Executive Order restricting refugee resettlement and travel from certain countries. 

"With the most refugees in the world since World War II, now is not the time for the world’s leader in refugee resettlement to back down,” stated Bill O’Keefe, Vice President for Advocacy and Government Relations.  The new Executive Order maintains the reduction in resettlement for Fiscal Year 2017 to 50,000, something CRS has opposed since the first order. 

"By banning refugees and travel from Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, we are turning our backs on suffering people during their most difficult hours,” he said.

In Yemen, 17 million cannot adequately feed themselves.  More than 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance, in addition to the nearly 5 million refugees.  And drought in Somalia has left 6.2 million people in need.

“As the world’s most blessed nation, we should be doing more to provide assistance overseas and resettle the most vulnerable, not less.” O’Keefe said. “It is wrong, during this time of great need, to cut humanitarian assistance and reduce resettlement. 

“Refugees are fleeing the same terrorism that we seek to protect ourselves from,” he said.  “By welcoming them, we show the world that we are an open, tolerant nation which seeks to protect the vulnerable.  That has always been America’s greatest strength.”

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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook@CatholicRelief@CRSnewsYouTubeInstagram and Pinterest.

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Nikki Gamer

Media Relations Manager

Nikki Gamer
March 6, 2017

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Media Relations Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement of...More