Statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to extend the travel ban to six additional countries

February 7, 2020
By: 
The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

The Episcopal Church is deeply concerned by the administration’s decision to restrict immigration from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, and Sudan. While we wholeheartedly endorse efforts to ensure the safety of the United States, it is not clear that blanket immigration bans further that goal. Instead of taking a strategic approach to addressing security concerns and keeping Americans safe, the administration’s broad-based actions paint tens of millions of people as an a priori security threat. This is the wrong approach and does not make us any safer.

More than fifty years ago Congress eliminated country bans from immigration law, and it did so because those policies were discriminatory. The United States has a long and shameful history of excluding foreign nationals, claiming their nationality made them unfit to be Americans. The Episcopal Church strongly condemns the reintroduction of such discredited principles to our immigration policy. We believe all individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States should be evaluated on their own merits, not on their nationality.

We urge the administration to rescind this ban and work in good faith with the listed countries to address any legitimate security concerns.