March 16, 2017
“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, an Executive Order signed by the President was slated to go into effect today As you may have already heard, yesterday evening, hours before it was to go into effect, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order which temporarily stops three parts of the Executive Order from taking effect:
1. The provision to bar individuals from six Muslim-majority countries,
2. The four-month suspension of refugee resettlement, and
3. The drastic reduction of refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000.
With most things in this world, there are things that are uncertain, and things that are certain. Here is what we know.
What is uncertain:
1. The next steps in this legal process. We do not know if the administration will take this case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will either uphold or cancel the temporary restraining order. The Justice Department has not made their intentions known as of yet.
What is certain:
1. Refugees escaping war and conflict, persecution, and torture will continue to be granted safety, opportunity, and peace in North Dakota. Travel for refugees being resettled is currently planned through March 30th. Dependent on what happens with the courts, it may be longer.
2. We at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota will continue do the work we have been doing with refugee resettlement -- reuniting families and working to inspire and empower all people to realize their potential as productive, responsible and caring members of our communities.
3. We will continue our work to try and help people see and understand the humanity of refugee resettlement.
4. We are certain that you, our friends, will be there every step of the way during this crucial time for refugees.
While we are encouraged to be able to continue welcoming refugees to North Dakota, we are asking you to not stop paying attention to this issue. We ask that you continue to participate in these important conversations across our communities, however small or large they may be. Share stories, share ideas, share reasons why you care, but most importantly continue doing what you do to share the spirit of welcome with our current and future neighbors who need it.
As the people charged with doing this work every day, we know firsthand what a powerful message your support sends to the families who are making North Dakota home. If you are able and moved to do so, you can make a gift directly to the refugee resettlement program by clicking here. Your gift will go right to work ensuring that refugee families are able to successfully rebuild their lives in North Dakota.
Jessica Thomasson, Chief Executive Officer
Shirley Dykshoorn, Vice President for Senior and Humanitarian Services