Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement marking World Refugee Day:
“Around the world, nearly 70 million people—the highest number ever recorded—have been driven from their homes by conflict, violence, and disaster. From Central America to Venezuela to the DRC to Burma to Syria, upheaval has deprived these millions of their homes and possessions, destroyed communities, and eroded the bonds that knit families together.
“There was a time when the United States welcomed desperate people. There was a time when we could speak with moral clarity and demonstrate leadership to help ease their plight. There was a time when we treated refugees and asylum seekers in a way that reflected the best of our country.
“Today, as we mark World Refugee Day, that’s no longer the case. The United States is instead slamming the door on refugees, turning a blind eye to victims of violence, tearing families apart, and holding children ransom to a radical, anti-immigrant agenda. President Trump’s barbaric policies are an appalling betrayal of our values and an assault on the human rights of already vulnerable people.
“The President should immediately change course and abandon this heartless agenda.”