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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie notified the U.S. government that the state is pulling out of the federal refugee resettlement program. The announcement comes after Christie’s assertion after the November 2015 attacks in Paris that the state would refuse to accept Syrian refugees, even 5-year-old orphans.

Amnesty International USA today launched a nationwide petition asking Christie to reverse his decision and protect vulnerable refugees.

“This dangerous decision is based on nothing more than bigotry and fear-mongering,” said Tarah Demant, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA. “The refugee resettlement process is already extremely rigorous and safe. Everyone has the right to safe haven from persecution, and all governments have an obligation not to force refugees back into situations where they will be at risk. We have a responsibility to do more – not less – to help refugees.”

Amnesty International USA is also mobilizing its supporters nationwide to take local action to protect refugees. Amnesty’s toolkit includes local resolutions and other material.