CWS Applauds Court Decisions Halting Refugee Ban, Will Welcome Its First Refugee Family to Arrive in the U.S. Since the Ban This Evening

February 6, 2017

Trump administration’s appeal of these court decisions denied over the weekend

After Judge James L. Robart’s ruling on Friday restraining the enforcement of President Trump’s executive order that suspended refugee resettlement and banned certain nationalities from entering the United States, CWS commended these court decisions and announced that beginning today, CWS will resume welcoming refugees to the U.S.–including those barred from entry last week: 

“We celebrate these court orders, and will continue to do all we can to ensure that refugees have access to life-saving protection–no matter where they’re from or how they pray,” said CWS President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough. “Refugees are already the most vetted individuals to enter the United States, and we are heartened by the outpouring of support we have seen for resettlement in communities across the country. We will not rest until this executive order is fully reversed.”  

“CWS is looking forward to welcoming the first refugee family to arrive in the US since the recent court order. Like many others, this family is in great need of life-saving protection resettlement offers,” said Erol Kekic, Executive Director of CWS’ Immigration and Refugee Program. “Resettlement is about saving lives, particularly of those fleeing war and terror acts. We call on the Trump administration and this Congress to reaffirm the commitment we as a nation have made long time ago to those seeking safety and freedom by immediately reversing the executive order and continuing the robust refugee resettlement program in the US. Assisting refugees is not just a right thing to do—it is a safe thing to do. Such a move would also go a long way in reaffirming American leadership in the world. CWS and its members will do everything in our power to restore welcome to refugees—and we hope that you join us at GreaterAs1.org.” 

CWS reiterates its call on President Trump to immediately rescind this entire executive order, and all Members of Congress to do everything in their power to stop this order and anything that weakens the U.S commitment to refugee protection. We further urge both the Administration and Congress to affirm the importance of a robust refugee resettlement program that protects people seeking safety and demonstrates strategic U.S. leadership in promoting refugee protection and regional stability.

Additional Information and Context on the EO and Court Decisions

  • As of Friday, January 27, all flights were cancelled for refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan, causing heartache and family separation for thousands of families and community members who had prepared for refugee arrivals.
  • While 875 refugees from other nationalities continued to arrive through last Thursday, all refugees’ flights were cancelled as of February 3.
  • While the court decisions do not apply to the entire executive order, they halt the provisions that called for suspension of the refugee resettlement program for 120 days, a 90-day ban on visa holders from seven countries, an indefinite stop to the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and preferencing of certain religious minorities.
  • At this time, CWS alone has 165 individuals scheduled to arrive this week in the United States this week, although this is subject to change with new travel bookings later this week.

For more information and ways you can help now, visit GreaterAs1.org/DONATE and GreaterAs1.org/ACT.

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Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about CWS’ work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.