Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?
Yesterday, the president signed an Executive Order revising the travel restrictions that were struck down by the courts in January. The new Executive Order removes the nation of Iraq from the list of 7 nations with restrictions–something those in the intelligence and military communities wanted to see, but maintains the 90-day ban on travel from the remaining six. Refugees, on the other hand, got a mixture of good and bad news. The good news: The new law removes the “indefinite” ban on Syrian Refugees. The bad news: the new law reduces the total number of refugees that will be admitted (from all parts of the world) to the U.S. by 55% (50,000 refugees will be admitted in FY 2017–down from 110,000 last year). Read the entire Executive Order HERE.
When the first Executive Order was issued in January, leaders from across the U.S. representing every faith tradition and denomination, immediately responded to the president’s action decrying the refugee ban as unjust and oppressive. The response thus far to the new order has been equally critical. Tim Breene, CEO of World Relief, a Evangelical Christian refugee resettlement agency that works closely with the government was quoted in Christianity Today: “The issuance of a new executive order on refugees and immigrants acknowledges that there were significant problems with the first executive order that caught up green card holders and others as they tried to enter to the United States. However, this new executive order does not solve the root problems with the initial order—the cutting of refugee admissions by 55 percent and the inability for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees to come to the United States. It is more of the same.” Church World Services (CWS) issued a strongly worded statement condemning the rewritten order, saying, “Make no mistake: this rewritten version will have the same impact.”
Question for Reflection
According to PRRI, a nonprofit, nonpartisan polling organization, support for the temporary ban on Muslims has declined among all all groups except one–white Evangelical Protestants. In February 2017, 61% favored the ban (compared to 55% in May 2016). Why do you think Evangelical Protestants continue to support the ban?
Consider traveling to Springfield, IL, with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights on Wednesday, March 15, to push legislators at the State Capital to make Illinois a Sanctuary State. Message the church via Facebook for information.