WASHINGTON – Responding to recent announcements of certain governors that they will not accept Syrian refugees for resettlement in their states, Church World Service President and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough, urged public officials to avoid knee-jerk reactions, to reject misplaced blame and to stand in solidarity with Syrian refugees, who are themselves victims of ISIS.
“These governors have turned their backs on Syrian refugees who, like the Parisians with whom the world is mourning, are the victims of ISIS,” McCullough said. “For these governors to falsely assert that the U.S. refugee admissions program places their states at risk is utterly preposterous. Refugees are the single most scrutinized and vetted individuals to travel to the United States, undergoing more than seven security checks by intelligence agencies, including biometric tests, medical screenings and in-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security officials. To blame Syrian refugees, who are themselves fleeing the horrors of ISIS, for the acts of their perpetrators, is just plain wrong.”
The governors’ comments followed the tragic terrorist attacks by ISIS in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad.
“These knee-jerk reactions stoke fear and bigotry, and have no place in this great nation. History will judge us all in this moment, when we had the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the victims of ISIS and work together to defeat hate, or to instead turn our backs on them in cruel irony,” McCullough continued. “At CWS, we pray that public officials will choose wisdom over rhetoric and show true leadership in this time of great tragedy. We call on our elected officials to stand with the millions of Americans across the country who are donating to help refugees abroad and volunteering to welcome refugees in their communities. Our nation’s leaders must affirm the importance of resettling refugees who are fleeing the brutality of ISIS.”
CWS is an international humanitarian organization committed to eradicating hunger and poverty and promoting peace and justice.