Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the attempt by the governors in more than thirty states to prevent the resettlement of families and children who are refugees from Syria. The refugees are fleeing racial, religious, and political persecution.
“Syria remains in crisis, with more than two-thirds of its people displaced from their homes and warfare continuing to tear apart families. An estimated 250,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian Civil War and another 130,000 people have been captured or remain missing, according to a report from the United Nations. In this time of crisis, we have a responsibility to work with the community of nations to protect the refugees who are now threatened because of their race, their religion, or their political convictions. President Obama has developed a reasonable plan to allow the resettlement of 10,000 Syrians in the United States. I am therefore deeply appalled that some state governors are trying to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees under the false assumption that people of a particular race or nationality or religion are inherently dangerous. This assumption violates our a basic principle of our nation: that the rights of each individual are entitled to respect. We have the opportunity to act on that principle by welcoming families and children who want to escape the fear of persecution based on their identity or their beliefs. In addition, we already have a highly secure process for admitting refugees. To enter the United States, refugees are thoroughly investigated: the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of State provide information on each applicant for refugee status. Useless changes to that process would only prevent qualified refugees from entering the United States and could undermine a system that maintains our national security. In the best of our traditions, the United States has welcomed individuals from around the world who had been persecuted and wanted freedom. I believe we should continue to support that tradition, rather than allowing xenophobia to determine our policy.”
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, the Committee on Ethics and the Committee of Small Business in the House of Representatives, proudly represents Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, Park Slope, Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.