Washington, D.C. — January 27, 2017 — In response to reports that President Trump will soon issue an executive order indefinitely banning refugees from Syria while blocking visitors from a number of Muslim-majority countries — likely to include Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States pending new procedures, Jon Rainwater, executive director of the United States’ largest grassroots peace organization, Peace Action, released the following statement:

“Trump simply translated the campaign’s religiously discriminatory Muslim Ban into bloodless bureaucratic prose. Trump is building a wall around our nation and long-suffering refugee families are the ones who are going to pay.

“Slamming the door on refugees from conflicts that the U.S is involved in is exactly what ISIS wants us to do. Targeting Muslims is exactly what ISIS wants us to do. These callous actions may cheer Trump’s base, but they will alienate most of the rest of the world and make Americans less safe.

“While turning his back on refugees, Trump is feigning compassion for their struggle by promising so-called ‘safe zones’ in Syria. Trump is using this promise as it’s been used in the past: for political cover to deny refugees asylum.

“Regardless of the motivation, human rights advocates oppose safe zones because they can turn into deathtraps, as the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica demonstrated. Enforcing these zones would likely require a serious escalation of U.S. military involvement in Syria and risk entangling the U.S. in another protracted war in the Middle East.”


Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.PeaceAction.org.

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