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The Expanded Muslim Ban Another Blow to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

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The Expanded Muslim Ban Another Blow to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

January 31, 2020, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women disagrees with the expanded travel ban that was announced today as refugees and asylum seekers will now have one less place to turn as they seek a better life for themselves and their families. NCJW CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:

“Three years ago, this administration started banning travelers from Muslim countries. Since this travel ban has been in effect, tens of thousands seeking to leave their home countries due to violence against women, conflict, terror and human rights violations — as well as those simply seeking to study or visit family — have been prevented from entering the United States.

“Today’s announcement of an expanded travel ban to six new countries further harms refugees and asylum seekers, and has extreme implications for those escaping persecution in Africa. One out of four Africans will now be banned from legal immigration  to the United States or from requesting a visa for business or tourism.

“This ban is an affront to both our American and Jewish values. As Jews we are taught va’ahavtem et ha-ger — as we were once strangers, so must we love the stranger.  We know what it’s like to wish others would respond while policies rooted in religious injustice are carried out. We know what it’s like to seek haven and a better life in the United States. We know what it’s like to be turned away out of fear and prejudice under the guise of “security.”

“It is imperative that we continue to open our borders and communities to those fleeing violence or seeking better lives in the United States. The National Council of Jewish Women demands that Congress immediately pass the NO BAN Act (HR 2214/S 1123) to repeal all versions of the Muslim Ban and change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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