• Press Release

U.S. Leadership Must Address the Global Refugee Crisis

November 17, 2015

The following statement is from Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA:

“As a nation that prides itself on being built by immigrants and refugees, the United States is uniquely placed to lead the international community by example in effectively addressing the global refugee crisis.

“The global community must reject knee-jerk, anti-refugee rhetoric and policies in the wake of last week’s attacks in Beirut, Paris, Baghdad and Sana’a.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected by these attacks. It is essential that the response to terrorism be undertaken with the utmost regard for human rights. This is particularly needed in the wake of the anti-refugee sentiment being spewed by some politicians and hate groups. Many of the people seeking sanctuary have fled violence, fear and conflict caused by the group known as the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq.

“Among the great challenges facing the international community are the long-standing threat of terrorism and the explosion of refugees and asylum seekers around the world who need sanctuary. They are not the same challenge and only one of them is a threat.  

“The United States and the global community must distinguish between the two and be clear that our common security is not best served by turning our back on a global refugee crisis, but by ensuring the orderly, organized and humane resettlement of those fleeing the very horrors last week’s attacks brought to the world’s attention.

“Congress and the Obama administration must robustly implement and fund U.S. humanitarian resettlement programs so that they help meet the needs of the refugee crisis.”

Amnesty International’s new report on refugees in the EU can be found here.