The United Nations has condemned Donald Trump's ban on refugees and order to stop Syrians and travellers from six other Muslim-majority countries entering the U.S. amid mounting global anger. Save the Children takes no issue with proposals to further ideal the vetting process to protect our nation's safety, but we must remember that resettling refugees reinforces our security by supporting key allies that are disproportionately affected by forced displacement.
UNHCR estimates, based on average monthly figures for the last 15 years, that 20,000 refugees in precarious circumstances might have been resettled to the United States during the 120 days covered by the Order.
The United Nations defines refugees as people forced to flee their home country to escape persecution, war or violence. To be sure, the U.S. is the single largest destination for resettled refugees, but only amounted to 85,000 of the 21 million refugees in the world past year.
"Refugees are anxious, confused and heartbroken at this suspension", it further said, describing UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi as "deeply worried" by the impact of Trump's move. They themselves are fleeing war, persecution, oppression and terrorism.
Before being approved for resettlement by American authorities, refugees undergo an in-depth process that includes up to 36 months of vetting - including biometric screening - by 12 to 15 government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and intelligence services.
The number of refugees in Lebanon per capita would be equivalent to the United States taking in roughly 63 million refugees. In all, about 1% of refugees around the world are granted third country resettlement. It also indefinitely bans Syrians from resettling in the USA. For instance, past year I interviewed a gay Syrian refugee who was resettled to the U.S. from Turkey after he was stalked by ISIS.
UNHCR and the IOM go on to express the strong belief that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race. More than half of all refugees are children, whose only chance for survival and a better future relies on access to safety.
"The US resettlement program is one of the most important at world level".