Letter to President Donald J. Trump - Beyer, Cicilline, Pascrell, Jayapal Lead House Democrats Calling on Trump to Help with Syrians


By: Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Peter Welch, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Jr., Bobby Scott, Filemon Vela, Jr., Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Cohen, David Cicilline, Matt Cartwright, Mike Doyle, Jr., Dwight Evans, Bob Brady, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Tim Ryan, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Joe Crowley, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Thomas Suozzi, Ruben Kihuen, Ben Lujan, Jr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Don Payne, Jr., Albio Sires, Frank Pallone, Jr., David Price, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, John Conyers, Jr., Debbie Dingell, Sandy Levin, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, Anthony Brown, Stephen Lynch, Mike Capuano, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Niki Tsongas, Jim McGovern, John Yarmuth, Cheri Bustos, Bill Foster, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutiérrez, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush, Colleen Hanabusa, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Val Demings, Al Lawson, Jr., Eleanor Norton, Elizabeth Esty, Jared Polis, Juan Vargas, Alan Lowenthal, Nanette Barragán, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Norma Torres, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Mark DeSaulnier, Doris Matsui, Jared Huffman, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Date: May 2, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

In light of the recent U.S. airstrikes in Syria and your acknowledgment and condemnation of the cruel atrocities the Syrian government has committed against its own people, we urge you to immediately take effective action to help innocent Syrians. As you stated, "Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror."

That is why we are asking you to immediately rescind your Executive Order dated March 6, 2017 which suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days and to fully mobilize U.S. government efforts to assist Syrian refugees from this horrific war who are simply seeking safety for themselves and their families.

In 2016, the United Nations identified an estimated 13.5 million Syrians who require humanitarian assistance inside Syria. Over five million Syrians have fled dangerous conditions to seek safety as refugees in neighboring countries. We believe it is imperative that the U.S. regain its leadership role and help resettle the thousands of Syrians who have been victimized by an oppressive regime.

The U.S. has a long history of resettling refugees. Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted individuals entering the U.S., undergoing the scrutiny of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Counterterrorism Center and the intelligence community. Syrian refugees are also subject to "enhanced" review which involves an additional layer of scrutiny at DHS prior to an in-person interview by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicator. At a time when there are more refugees, asylum-seekers, and displaced persons than at any time since World War II, the U.S. cannot stand idly by.

We also ask that you prioritize supporting U.S. foreign aid, which helps respond to humanitarian crises around the world. American assistance is a crucial lifeline and helps maintain global stability worldwide. Cuts to American foreign assistance, particularly to humanitarian programs, will only exacerbate the suffering of millions of refugees and further destabilize the Middle East. Global threats like ISIS grow out of instability, and the humanitarian crises that result, if left insufficiently attended, only lead to further destabilization. We strongly urge you to maintain our funding commitment to effectively prevent these global threats from finding roots.

It is time for the United States to step up and show the world that we are not indifferent to the grave suffering of the Syrian people. Again, we urge you to safely resettle Syrian refugees into our country, and to maintain funding for those who need our help the most. Doing so would maintain American humanitarian leadership and send a message of hope to oppressed people all over the world. Thank you for your consideration, we look forward to your response and future actions.