Dear President Trump and Members of Congress:
We, the undersigned law enforcement leaders, write in support of the U.S. refugee resettlement program and recognize the importance of continuing to welcome refugees, immigrants, and all newcomers to our country and to our communities. We oppose any congressional and administrative proposals that would dismantle the resettlement program, undermine the U.S. role as a global leader, and jeopardize the lives of refugees around the world. We urge you to reject any efforts to stop or pause the entry of refugees, or discriminate against refugees or immigrants of certain faiths or from particular countries of origin.
Today, we are facing the worst displacement crisis in recorded history with over 65 million people, including over 21 million refugees, forced to leave their homes because of who they are or what religion they practice. It is our duty to respond to this humanitarian crisis with compassion, hospitality, and welcome. Resettlement is an option only for a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees, who are fleeing violence and persecution and some of whom served alongside U.S. troops. The U.S. refugee resettlement program is a unique and robust public-private partnership of the federal government, state and local governments, non-profit resettlement agencies, and community members. The resettlement program subjects refugees to the most rigorous screening and security vetting of any category of traveler to the United States. Refugee resettlement saves lives, encourages other countries to keep their doors open to people needing protection, and promotes regional stability and global security. Now, we cannot turn our backs on the refugees we have pledged to welcome.
As leaders in law enforcement, we know that refugees are members of our communities for whom support and full participation are vital. Many of our agencies have benefited from community outreach and collaboration with refugee and other immigrant populations. Many refugees are able to access employment and provide for their families in a rapid manner. We urge you to ensure that the U.S. resettlement program remains strong and responsive to the needs of refugees and of the communities that welcome them.
Our nation has always been a beacon of hope for those seeking peace and protection from persecution. We urge you to reject proposals that could jeopardize this rich and proud heritage. Instead, we call on you to recognize this nation’s leadership in protecting refugees and celebrate the contributions refugees and immigrants make to their communities.