Trump’s refugee ban is ‘playing with fire’: Angelina Jolie


NEW YORK, Feb 4 (APP): Top Hollywood star and human rights activist Angelina Jolie has said that President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Programme is like ‘playing with fire’ and will ‘worsen America’s war against terrorists.’
“Shutting our door to refugees or discriminating among them is not our way, and does not make us safer,” Jolie wrote in an op-ed published Friday in the New York Times. “Acting out of fear is not our way. Targeting the weakest does not show strength.”
Jolie, who serves as special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said, “the lesson of the years we have spent fighting terrorism since Sept. 11 is that every time we depart from our values, we worsen the very problem we are trying to contain.”
President Trump’s order suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days and bars refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries coming into the United States during that period. A review of the refugee vetting process is now underway.
While never mentioning Trump’s name, Jolie rebukes the president’s refuge order calling it a departure from “our country’s history of giving shelter to the most vulnerable people. Americans have shed blood to defend the idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion.”
While acknowledging Trump’s pledge to protect America from its enemies around the world, Jolie says the president’s action “must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear.”
“If we send a message that it is acceptable to close the door to refugees, or to discriminate among them on the basis of religion, we are playing with fire. We are lighting a fuse that will burn across continents, inviting the very instability we seek to protect ourselves against,” the Academy Award winner writes.
Jolie also strikes down the notion that refugees granted access to the U.S. are inherently dangerous, noting “only the most vulnerable people are put forward for resettlement in the first place: survivors of torture, and women and children at risk or who might not survive without urgent, specialized medical assistance. “
The actress, who adopted three of her and former husband, Actor Brad Pitt’s six children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, put her argument in the most personal of term.
“As the mother of six children, who were all born in foreign lands and are proud American citizens, I very much want our country to be safe for them, and all our nation’s children. But I also want to know that refugee children who qualify for asylum will always have a chance to plead their case to a compassionate America.
“And that we can manage our security without writing off citizens of entire countries – even babies – as unsafe to visit our country by virtue of geography or religion.”
Last May, Jolie criticized Trump after he proposed his plan to temporarily halt entry for nationals from countries fraught with terror.
“To me, America is built on people from around the world coming together for freedoms, especially freedom of religion,” Jolie said. “So it’s hard to hear this is coming from someone who is pressing to be an American president.”