FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2020
Reform Jewish Movement Denounces President Trump’s Immigration Restrictions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the issuance of green cards for 60 days, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference on American Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“President Trump’s attempt to further restrict foreign entry to the United States is an extension of the xenophobia that has tragically guided our nation’s immigration policies during his time in office. This decision comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s decimation of the U.S. asylum system and refugee resettlement program for no discernable reason other than hostility toward individuals seeking refuge in a country that has long served as a haven for those most in need.
“After years of tearing apart families and caging children, the president’s latest executive order is now taking aim at one of the few, narrow legal paths that immigrants have left for permanently settling in the U.S. President Trump claims that this step is necessary to protect workers recovering from the COVID-19 economic collapse. But we know that, in reality, immigrants bring ingenuity, courage, and diversity that has long powered our country through challenging times.
“We are commanded 36 times in the Torah to welcome and love the stranger and immigrant – far more than any other dictate, due in no small part to its difficulty. As Reform Jews, we embrace the mandate to welcome those different than ourselves – particularly in moments of crisis. We condemn the president for once again betraying this nation’s founding ideals by scapegoating immigrants.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.