The following statement of Agudath Israel was released in response to President Trump’s Executive Immigration Order:
The immense contributions of immigrants to American life need no elaboration, nor does the importance of immigration to our great nation. The world refugee crisis, moreover, must compel our deep concern for those fleeing persecution, as did so many of our own forebears.
President Trump’s recent executive order seeks to protect the nation’s citizens from terrorism, an unarguably honorable quest.
The strict vetting process that has long been in place has certainly helped keep terrorists and their recruiters from entering our country. The executive order is aimed at temporarily strengthening that line of defense. As such, it is laudable. But only if its focus is on places, on countries that are hotbeds of violent radicalism, not on religious populations.
And only if tempered by true concern for innocent refugees, who do not deserve to be caught up in nets intended to catch their oppressors.
We urge the administration to continue to evaluate the geopolitical situation and exercise great deliberation as it forges a permanent immigration policy, so that what results will well balance security concerns with human and religious rights.