WASHINGTON - The Reform Movement on Wednesday condemned President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the issuance of green cards for 60 days.
The new executive order “is an extension of the xenophobia that has tragically guided our nation’s immigration policies during his time in office,” said Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
“This decision comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s decimation of the US asylum system and refugee resettlement program for no discernable reason other than hostility toward individuals seeking refuge in a country that has long served as a haven for those most in need,” he said in a statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
“We are commanded 36 times in the Torah to welcome and love the stranger and immigrant – far more than any other dictate, due in no small part to its difficulty,” Pesner said. “As Reform Jews, we embrace the mandate to welcome those different than ourselves – particularly in moments of crisis. We condemn the president for once again betraying this nation’s founding ideals by scapegoating immigrants.”
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order that temporarily suspends the issuance of new green cards for those who seek permanent residence in the US.
“Pausing immigration will help out unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” Trump said Tuesday at a press conference.
“It would be wrong and unjust for Americans who were laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrants from abroad,” he said. “We must first take care of the American worker.”
After the 60 days, “the need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people based on economic conditions at the time,” Trump said.
“This order will only apply to individuals seeking permanent residency” and will not apply to those entering temporarily, he said.
“As we move forward, we’ll examine what additional immigration-related measures should be put in place to protect you as workers,” Trump said. “A short break from new immigration will protect the solvency of our healthcare system and provide relief to jobless Americans.”