1. Action Alert
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Executive Orders on Immigration Fail to Offer Solutions

By Hannah Graf Evans, January 25, 2017

FCNL is deeply disheartened by the executive orders signed today by President Trump. The directions promise to adversely affect U.S. communities and offer no concrete solutions for reforming our immigration system.

In response to the announcement on immigration executive orders pertaining to aggressively ramping up immigration enforcement and building the border wall, Hannah Graf Evans, lead lobbyist on Immigration at FCNL stated:

“As Quakers, our call to welcome the stranger does not rest on the immigration status of any individual. We are dismayed by the choice of President Trump and his team to focus his first immigration efforts on enforcement-only measures rather than working with Congress to pursue tangible and real solutions for U.S. communities and immigrants navigating a severely outdated U.S. immigration system.

Immigration policies must rest on recognition of the inherent worth of all individuals, as acknowledged in our Quaker faith, as well as in our shared Constitution, laws, and American values. To say these executive orders fall short of that goal is a considerable understatement. They eliminate due process, infringe upon civil liberties and human rights, and promote returning vulnerable individuals to danger or detaining them indefinitely.

In the wake of this devastating announcement, we stand with immigrants, their families, and all those affected and pray for community strength to continue working towards policies that create a world with equity and justice for all.”

What do the executive orders include?

Increasing Immigration Enforcement and Detention

President Trump’s announcement mandating detention and the immediate return of asylum seekers – including women and children – is a gross violation of the faithful mandate to welcome the stranger. The U.S. has a responsibility to protect and promote the rights of asylum seekers at our southern border and ensure adequate due process for all navigating the legal system – however President Trump ordered an aggressive increase in immigration enforcement, including: tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and requiring the detention of immigrants apprehended by immigration authorities – potentially including asylum seekers – and are awaiting their day in immigration court.

Update Living Our Values to Protect Central American Refugees 

How can our work be informed by the biblical call to love thy neighbor as ourselves? The U.S. should be prioritizing protection over detention, deportation, and deterrence strategies for Central Americans seeking refuge.

Jeopardizing Community Trust Policies

President Trump has issued an order to reinstate the Secure Communities program, which requires information sharing between immigration authorities and local law enforcement. Many localities found this program – ended in 2014 – made their communities less safe and instated policies that limited interaction between police and immigration authorities to increase crime reporting. President Trump also directed the federal government to pressure localities to abandon these policies by punitively withholding funding. We support localities that choose to help and protect all members of their communities, regardless of immigration status, and encourage localities to maintain and pursue policies that preserve trust policies for the safety of the whole community.

Building a Border Wall

President Trump ordered an immediate start to building additional barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border and funneling massive resources into militarizing the border region. This move is devastating for the bi-national and indigenous communities that call the border region home and a major waste of taxpayer dollars. Our immigration system is not broken because of a porous border. FCNL recommits to working with border communities and encouraging members of Congress to incorporate border communities’ demands for increased accountability and oversight of border enforcement. Members of Congress have the opportunity and responsibility to reverse this pledge for increased militarization of U.S. border communities and focus their efforts on lasting solutions.

Call Congress today and tell them to reject President Trump's executive orders and commit to support refugees and immigrants in our communities.

Welcoming Immigrants & Refugees Makes Us Stronger

Write a letter to the editor oppose Trump's executive order.

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Hannah Graf Evans

  • Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL's lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities. Hannah served as co-chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition steering committee for three years.