January 30, 2017—The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a program of JEWISHcolorado, strongly opposes President Trump’s recent executive orders that would restrict entry for refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries and expand detention for asylum-seekers.
We recognize our government’s vital responsibility to vigilantly examine immigration requests and rigorously enforce safeguards against terrorists who may seek to exploit crises. At the same time, our country’s national security interests can be compatible with a compassionate policy regarding those who are in desperate need of refuge. Many Jewish Americans know first-hand the difficulties their relatives endured in trying to escape religious and political persecution abroad and resettle their families to a place where they could live in safety. The Jewish tradition teaches va’ahavtem et ha-ger – as we were once strangers, so must we love – and welcome – the stranger. We believe in the imperative to act as or la-goyim, a light unto the nations. Accordingly, the JCRC stands with those who desire to lawfully gain entry to the United States in order to build a better life for themselves and their children.
As Jews, and as minorities, we understand the very real consequences of fear, hate speech, hate crimes and bigotry. We will not tolerate policies or legislation that impact vulnerable populations or compromise our civil liberties. We, as a community, have welcomed refugees from many nationalities and different religious backgrounds with open arms and we strongly encourage our elected representatives to remember that the immigrant experience is one of America’s greatest sources of strength and not at all a weakness.
The JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council), a program of JEWISHcolorado, advocates for domestic and international policy issues that affect the Colorado Jewish community, represents these views to the Jewish community and to the general community of Colorado, and organizes the Jewish community in times of crisis. JCRC consists of more than 30 member organizations, 15 at-large members, and is affiliated with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).