A Nation of Immigrants: Response to Refugee Admissions Restrictions

We are deeply concerned about President Trump’s executive order to temporarily halt, and indefinitely suspend, refugee admissions based on country of origin or perceived religious principles. We urge our leaders to reconsider and enact policies that reflect our country’s values. We are a nation of immigrants, one that has always welcomed newcomers who bring with them ingenuity and determination — regardless of where they are from.

Upwardly Global has worked with thousands of people from the countries covered by this executive order. Migrating to the U.S. as a refugee or asylee is not a choice. These individuals are leaving countries and homes they love. It is a decision made out of desperation, based on the desire of parents to protect their children from physical danger, and the will to live free and achieve their fullest potential.

Understanding the complexity of our current vetting process is extremely important. Refugees already wait between 18 and 24 months before their records are confirmed and they are allowed entry to the U.S. All they ask for on arrival is the chance to contribute and participate in the American dream. At Upwardly Global, we have witnessed the contributions these individuals make to their communities and workplaces when they are afforded the opportunity to do so.

Our work remains focused on helping newcomers find their place in the professional workforce. To our program participants and alumni, we are humbled by and honor your journeys, and remain committed to your success. To our supporters and partners, thank you for standing by us.

Nikki Cicerani is the President and CEO of Upwardly Global.

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