Revised Executive Order a Step in the Right Direction, but Should Prioritize Victims of Genocide
Washington, DC: March 8, 2017. (PCP) IDC believes the new executive order signed by President Trump Monday, with less restrictive measures on the U.S. refugee admissions program, is a step in the right direction.
IDC supports the implementation of necessary security measures, but also believes that the United States also has a moral obligation to help the most vulnerable, especially victims of genocide and religious persecution.
“Victims of genocide—regardless of their faith—should be given priority for assistance and asylum from the United States,” said IDC Executive Director Philippe Nassif.
The new executive order removed language from the original order that prioritized the admission of refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries.
Religious minorities, Christians in particular, have fallen through the cracks of the U.S. refugee program. Less than 1% of the Syrians referred to the United States for resettlement by UNHCR are non-Muslim religious minorities.
In addition to prioritizing religious minorities for resettlement, IDC believes that the United States and the international community should also assist refugees to return and remain in their homeland.
IDC has commended President Trump’s commitment to safe zones in Syria, which would be a crucial first step toward ending the conflict.
IDC has also called on the Trump administration to designate a Nineveh Province Safe Zone to protect the religious and ethnic minorities of the region who have suffered genocide, including Yazidis, Christians, and Turkmen.
“There are precedents for such interventions by the U.S. and its allies, which should be used as models to protect minority communities who have been the victims of genocide, religious persecution, or simply caught in the crossfire of sectarian violence,” said IDC Senior Adviser Andrew Doran.