Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Goes Against America’s Moral Fabric, Says CAP President Neera Tanden
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Goes Against America’s Moral Fabric, Says CAP President Neera Tanden

Washington, D.C. — Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to block nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries—Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq—from entering the United States, suspend all refugees admissions for four months (120 days), block Syrian refugee admissions indefinitely, and reduce the annual refugee admissions target to a paltry level not seen since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980. This announcement comes at the end of a week that has been riddled with a string of attacks on vulnerable populations, starting with domestic enforcement that hurts those in the United States and now continuing to actions that hurt individuals overseas. Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

President Trump’s order establishing his promised Muslim ban and crippling the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program comes on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and in the midst of the greatest refugee challenge in modern history. Sadly, this is consistent with the anti-Muslim themes pushed throughout his presidential campaign. To date, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has registered nearly 5 million refugees who have fled Syria’s brutal civil war. Many of these refugees have sought shelter in other countries in the Middle East—as well as in Europe—and our global partners look to U.S. leadership in helping to share the burden of resettlement. Excluding people based on their nationality—to achieve, in effect, a ban based on religion—goes against the moral fabric of our nation and our national security interests.

Through his rhetoric and his policies, President Trump is not only betraying American values but is also making every American less safe. It is impossible to combat terrorists effectively without the close cooperation of allies and partners who Trump is alienating, especially in majority-Muslim nations that suffer most from terrorist brutality. Trump’s actions are also a boon for Al Qaeda and Islamic State recruiters who use him in their propaganda.

Today’s announcement is as counterproductive as it is dangerous. As CAP analysis has shown, refugees integrate well economically and socially over time. Doing what is right for refugees is good for America and true to our history as a nation that acts as a beacon of hope for the huddled masses around the world. Refugees are already the most heavily vetted and screened people admitted to the United States, so it is essential for us all to reject the false choice between security and humanity that President Trump is offering.

CAP experts are available to speak on this topic. For more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact Tanya Arditi at or 202.741.6258.

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