I am profoundly saddened and angered by the broad discrimination sanctioned last night by the Trump administration against refugees — those fleeing violence and terrorism within their country — and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.
There are two elements to this executive order: a ban on all refugees entering the country and a ban on all immigrants from seven, predominantly Muslim countries. Make no mistake — this is a Muslim ban, many of whom are women and children displaced by violence.
This runs counter to our national security interests and will be used as a recruitment tool for terror groups, endangering the lives of Americans overseas.
Furthermore, the Trump administration has proposed no practical or effective solution to make Americans safer from terrorism. Remember, between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown terrorists than by foreign-born extremists. Rather than address that threat, the administration has cruelly closed our doors to immigrants and refugees who are already vetted for more than two years to ensure they pose no threat to our citizens.
Since the Holocaust, it has been the policy of presidents of both parties to open our doors to those fleeing war and oppression. This moral leadership has enhanced our ability to shape world events while promoting global stability and protecting Americans abroad.
Refugees don’t make us less safe; they enrich our communities. I have seen refugees in California become business owners in Sacramento who grow our economy and students in Los Angeles developing cutting-edge research, all in the pursuit of contributing to a country that proudly opened its doors in their hour of need.
During the Holocaust, we failed to let refugees like Anne Frank into our country. And today, we are making the same mistake under the illusion of security.
Turning our backs on millions of refugees is a dark moment in American history; one that we must rise to meet because this is only the beginning of this fight. I fear that it will get worse before it gets better.
But I believe that our commitment to action and to defending those who have been left out and displaced will be able to overcome the bigoted policies of this administration.
To our brothers, sisters, and friends in immigrant and refugee communities at home and all across the world — know that you are not alone. We are fighting for you. We will not give up on you. Don’t give up on us.