Trump immigration order concerns OU, RCA, Agudath


America’s three leading Orthodox organizations issued statements regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Agudath Israel issued this statement:

“The immense contributions of immigrants to American life need no elaboration, nor does the importance of immigration to our great nation. The world refugee crisis, moreover, must compel our deep concern for those fleeing persecution, as did so many of our own forebears.

“President Trump’s recent executive order seeks to protect the nation’s citizens from terrorism, an unarguably honorable quest. The strict vetting process that has long been in place has certainly helped keep terrorists and their recruiters from entering our country. The executive order is aimed at temporarily strengthening that line of defense. As such, it is laudable. But only if its focus is on places, on countries that are hotbeds of violent radicalism, not on religious populations. 

“And only if tempered by true concern for innocent refugees, who do not deserve to be caught up in nets intended to catch their oppressors.

“We urge the administration to continue to evaluate the geopolitical situation and exercise great deliberation as it forges a permanent immigration policy, so that what results will well balance security concerns with human and religious rights.”

The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America reaffirmed principles in a joint statement from December 2015 in which they called “on all Americans to reaffirm that discrimination against any group based solely upon religion is wrong and anathema to the great traditions of religious and personal freedoms upon which this country was founded.”

The OU and RCA said: “We recognize that the complex issues that face us in ensuring the safety and security from terror of innocents and free societies throughout the world need to be addressed, but need to be done in sober and responsible ways.

“We call upon … the United States government to recognize the threats posed by radical Islamists, while preserving and protecting the rights of all people who seek peace, no matter how they worship G-d.”