by Haya Luftig
New York, NY – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the coordinating body of the Jewish community relations field, opposes President Trump’s executive orders that would restrict entry for refugees from predominantly Muslim countries, halt federal funding for “sanctuary cities,” and expand detention for immigrants and asylum-seekers.
“We are deeply concerned about President Trump’s actions on immigration and refugees, and the callous decision to take such action on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These pronouncements not only severely restrict immigration, they instill fear among existing immigrant populations that they are not welcome and may be at risk,” said David Bernstein, President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The ‘sanctuary cities’ provision, especially, threatens to seriously compromise the police’s ability to keep communities safe by undermining trust and communication between police and immigrant populations.”
The Jewish people know firsthand the consequences of turning away those fleeing persecution. Based on our own immigrant experience and Judaism’s imperative to “welcome the stranger,” the Jewish Council for Public Affairs has advocated for more than 70 years on behalf of immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers who hope to build a better life for themselves and their children. Resettled refugees have consistently boosted the economy, and enriched our culture and pluralistic ethos.
“As the daughter of refugees, I take this very personally,” stated Cheryl Fishbein, Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The United States currently has one of the most stringent vetting policies in the world and should continue this careful review,” she added. “We are facing a severe international refugee crisis and cannot let our concerns about radical Islam undermine a core national purpose—providing a home for immigrants. The American immigrant experience is one of the country’s greatest sources of strength.”