American Jewish World Service Condemns Bans on Refugee Resettlement and Immigration

Leading Jewish human rights organization calls on the Trump Administration to reverse these xenophobic policies, and calls on Congress and the federal courts to block their implementation

NEW YORK, NY – American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading Jewish organization working to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world, strongly condemns the ban on refugee resettlement and immigration, announced today by the Trump administration. Over three decades, AJWS has worked with many faith organizations, including Muslim partners worldwide, to pursue goals we share in common—ending poverty and advancing human rights.

Statement of Robert Bank, President and CEO of AJWS:

“As a Jewish organization informed by the lessons of Jewish history and anchored by the value of respecting all people, we object in the strongest terms to the two unacceptable and inhumane policies on refugees and immigrants announced by the White House today,” said Robert Bank, President and CEO of AJWS. “We strenuously object to President Trump’s executive orders that would stop all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and that would ban all individuals from Syria and suspend people from several other countries from seeking refuge in the United States,” added Bank. “These policies violate the best traditions of the United States, international human rights law and our deepest Jewish values.”

“We call on the Trump Administration to reverse these inhumane policies, and we call on Congress and federal courts to do everything in their power to block their implementation.

“We call on all Americans from every community to join us in speaking out against these policies, which will directly threaten the lives of thousands of people who desperately and urgently need sanctuary in our country,” said Bank. “Welcoming refugees and immigrants to our shores is central to who we are as Americans and as Jews, and the Trump administration’s blanket ban based on fear and xenophobia is an affront to our core values.

“As the leader of an international Jewish organization that, for decades, has worked with Muslim organizations and Muslim partners to end poverty and advance human rights, we object in the strongest terms to the demonization of Muslims by the new American administration. We understand what it means for a community to be demonized by authoritarian powers, and we regret that President Trump does not understand this lesson from the darkest chapters in world history,” added Bank.

“We understand all too well what it means to deny safe harbor to persecuted people who are seeking refuge, and we believe we are at risk of returning to the days when the United States tragically acted with indifference to Jewish and other refugees from Europe during World War II.

“We stand with refugees—those waiting desperately to gain protection within our borders and those who are here already and desperately hoping to be reunited with their family members who have yet to come to the United States. Denying refuge to those in need repudiates the Jewish mandate to welcome the stranger and is a gross affront to our shared humanity with all citizens of this world.”




About American Jewish World Service

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS promotes civil and political rights; advances sexual health and rights; defends access to food, land and water; and aids communities in the aftermath of disasters. AJWS pursues lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by advocating for U.S. and international policies for justice and equality worldwide. Learn more at


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