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ARF Eastern U.S. Issues Statement on Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees

 

On Jan. 27, United States President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order to indefinitely halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees and to temporarily ban people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. This decision was announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day—a day on which people around the world condemn all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment, or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief.

This Executive Order effectively bars entry for Syrian citizens—including Syrian-Armenians—caught in the crossfire of the country’s civil war, from seeking refuge in the U.S.  It has also wrongfully ensnared several Armenians with permanent residency in the U.S., causing them to be detained and questioned for hours by federal officials.  The Armenian-American community knows very well what it means to be targeted for their ethnic origin or religious beliefs; many of us and our families sought refuge in the U.S. to escape such treatment, and our history compels us to take a stand against such decisions.

While understanding the need to protect the U.S. from foreign threats, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern Region U.S. Central Committee believes that the Executive Order on immigration and refugee entry into the U.S. violates core American beliefs in equality, tolerance, and justice.

The U.S. is a nation founded by refugees fleeing persecution and was built by communities of immigrants. All Americans—both immigrants and U.S-born—are part of the fabric of America, regardless of religion, gender, or ethnicity. This diversity has made America strong, and it is what makes America great.

From surviving the horrors of the Armenian Genocide, to escaping the Lebanese Civil War, to fleeing Azerbaijani persecution and pogroms in the late 1980’s, to seeking refuge from the chaos that has engulfed Iraq and Syria, Armenians have come to this country to start new lives in safety and have contributed significantly, like other immigrants, to America’s greatness.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” are not mere words inscribed on some statue. They represent the founding values of this nation, on a statue named Liberty, standing at the gates of America.

We join all those across our nation and the world, who stand together in solidarity for human rights and for justice, for what this nation has always stood for and struggled to achieve. The Armenian community cannot stand silent as this legacy is put in jeopardy.

14 Comments on ARF Eastern U.S. Issues Statement on Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees

  1. avatar Dena Aslanian-Williams // January 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm // Reply

    Thank you for your leadership. More then I can say for some other Armenian organizations.

  2. avatar Donna Kavanagh // January 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm // Reply

    Thank you for supporting the protection of human rights for all people.

  3. We should be glad that the neocons who have funded jihadis are so upset with this policy. And that it’s temporary — and hopefully new vetting will help get Armenians and other minorities into the refugee system who are left out because they are afraid to go to refugee camps, because the Islamists are there.

  4. avatar Serop Bedrosian // January 30, 2017 at 10:26 pm // Reply

    Trump ban on refugees may be a blessing for Armenia. This is the time Armenians go to Armenia.

  5. avatar Proud to be American // January 30, 2017 at 10:50 pm // Reply

    It is very true that the US is a nation of immigrants and that immigrants have been vital to the growth and success of the US. However, a reading of US history shows the majority were legal, law abiding people who were assimilated into American society.
    Today’s world is different. Terrorists seek to enter and do harm to the American way of life. A nation that cannot secure its borders is not a nation. The President’s actions are controversial but they have as a goal thecprotection of America. True some people will be inconvenienced by being detained, however the good of the nation must take precedence. This program is temporary as the president said. The duty of any government is first to its own citizens, not to those seeking entry to a nation. Unpopular for sure but necessary,

  6. avatar Caroline Sarian // January 30, 2017 at 11:04 pm // Reply

    President Trump also said that he’s going to help the Christians refugees who have been almost altogether forgotten. This “article” didn’t mention that.

  7. avatar Sebouh Sarkissian // January 30, 2017 at 11:23 pm // Reply

    It is very unfortunate that the timing of this presidential decision is so close to April 24th.The Armenian community in the U.S. has high hopes that this president is more apt to recognize the Armenian Genocide than presidents before him. I pray the statement issued by ARF Eastern Region USA does not antagonize the president just when we need him for the recognition of the Armenian genocide, recognition of Artsakh’s independence, and aid to Armenia. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  8. avatar Colleen Bussey // January 31, 2017 at 1:33 am // Reply

    Also we American- Armenians are well aware of what it is like to be persecuted because of our Christian beliefs. It is wonderful that America has a president that is willing to stand up against the world leaders and protect his citizens by properly vetting anyone entering the U.S. for the wrong reasons.
    America has always been a most welcoming country and with all the terrorist activity happening all over the world, the American people elected someone who has their security in mind.
    God Bless President Trump!

  9. The media and the leftist elite are driving this issue out of proportion. President Trump is trying to deliver on what he promised the electorate in his
    Campaign! As for the ban, it’s only for 90 days for goodness sake! what’s all this fuss all about? He wants to put America’s interests first. what’s wrong with that? Look what has happened in Europe with all this open borders policy. As for the Armenian refugees, I am sure they are all welcome to settle in our homeland. At least they will be spared the constant and inevitable threat of assimilation in the diaspora. Let us not kid ourselves, sooner or later we are doomed to perish as a nation. How many people of Armenian origin speak let alone read or write our language. We live in a culture of celebrity worshippers, trying to emulate their unethical and immoral lifestyle with no moral or family values.
    Well done Mr. Trump. Get on with your mission, regardless of all the opposition from these liberals living in cookooland!

  10. avatar Hasmik Geghamyan // January 31, 2017 at 12:25 pm // Reply

    Thank you for this statement. This ban is illegal and unconstitutional. I want to underscore one historical truth that’s missing from this statgement: while this country is made up of immigrants, it has also forced people to move here for chattel slavery and nearly exterminated millions of indigenous people that were already here. It’s similar to going to Mush as an immigrant and saying “Turkey is a nation of immigrants.” No, this is also a nation of colonizers. Let’s not engage in a romanticized platitudes that aims to revise this sad and dark part of US history.

    I hope our Armenian, Arab and Muslim immigrants find save haven here and feel welcomed. Anti-immigrant and refugee hatred, especially coming from Christian communities is so nauseating.

  11. First, this president needs to be educated on the Middle East history and diverse population of that region that has been displaced by so called Armenian strategic allies like Turkey. I don’t think this president neither understands nor cares about Armenians, Assyrians, other Christian minorities that flee that region due to Islamic crap that we’ve had to deal with for centuries. Secondly, what about banning citizens from such counties like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan that have repeatedly attacked US and are hungry for more American blood?? Isn’t this decision politically motivated and driven by economics of Trump empire??

  12. avatar Ara Cherchian // February 1, 2017 at 9:50 am // Reply

    I completely disagree with your article. This is a temporary ban. I am sure a number of people were inconvenienced, so were the 3900 people we lost at the World Trade Center. Where were the massive Muslim demonstrations then? Where were the demonstrations when Christians were being raped and slaughtered by ISIS, or Kurds by Turks.

  13. avatar Jackie Dadaian // February 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm // Reply

    I do agree with President Trump. and I completely disagree with ARF stand. Your job is to work with the President in the recognition of the Genocide.

  14. avatar Hagop Varoujian // February 4, 2017 at 5:45 am // Reply

    Very well put Ara Cherchian!
    Thank Goodness we still have intelligent people around who see the truth and are not afraid to speak it either!

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