Trump’s Cruel Action on Refugees

There were drafts of Trump’s executive order banning refugees floating around, but the actual text ended up being far more cruel. The United States will bar all refugees from entering for 90 days, will ban Syrian refugees *completely* for an indefinite amount of time and also restricts migration for those who currently hold visas. This would bar students at American Universities from countries like Iran from returning home to see their families, because there would be no guarantee they could re-enter. This would potentially ban a non-American missionary working with a US-based charity from returning to the United States. So this is where Christians break with Trump. Christians will not support the refugee ban, and I look forward to how illuminating this will become.

It’s not like the actual data on refugees matter in this instance, but our vetting process is the strictest in the world. Your chances of being attacked by a refugee in America are about 1 in 3.64 billion. If you are afraid of refugees then you should also be afraid of being impaled by a unicorn.

And in case you thought Trump’s actions would only affect Muslims (and that would somehow make it OK), 300 non-Muslims from Iran — mostly Jews — have been barred from entering the US as they sought asylum.

There are two kickers here. One, the Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East that are exempt from the ban are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. What do they all have in common? Trump’s organization has done or is currently doing business in all of those nations. #DrainTheSwamp

Final kicker: Today is Holocaust Remembrance day. Attached is a picture of Werner Stein, a young Jewish boy who the US’s restrictionist refugee policies turned away in 1939. He was murdered in Auschwitz. Below is a picture of him next to Omran Daqneesh, the boy from Aleppo, whose picture I saw all over Facebook. Trump’s policies will shut the door on Omran, the same way we shut the door on Werner almost 80 years ago.

We are in the middle of the greatest refugee crisis in our lifetime. Your children are going to ask you about this moment. Make sure you can tell them something you are proud of.

“This is why, if you look at every place the word is used in the Old Testament, several classes of persons continually come up. Over and over again, misphat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor — those who have been called ‘the quartet of the vulnerable.’ In premodern, agrarian societies, these four groups had no social power. They lived at subsistence level and were only days from starvation if there was any famine, invasion, or even minor social unrest. Today this quartet would be expanded to include the refugee, the migrant worker, the homeless, and many single parents and elderly people.” — Tim Keller in Generous Justice, pg. 25

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