January 28, 2017
Officials at the United Nations opposed President Trump’s decision to contract the U.S. refugee resettlement program and deny visas to individuals from several countries affected by terrorism.
“We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race,” the U.N. Refugee Agency and the International Organization of Migration said Saturday in a joint statement.
Trump ordered the suspension of the Syrian refugee resettlement, in addition to suspending all immigration from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for the next three months. The White House said the countries were blacklisted because they have a history of harboring terrorists.
“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said Friday. “We don’t want them here. We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”
The terrorists are part of the reason why the U.S. refugee program is so important to the U.N. and human rights groups. The Syrian civil war and the threat of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups across the Middle East has caused a humanitarian crisis; the number of individuals displaced from there homes is at a record high.
“The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater, and the U.S. resettlement program is one of the most important in the world,” the U.N. and IOM said in the joint statement. “We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the U.S. Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters.”