Angelina Jolie Says Trump's Refugee Policy "Does Not Make Us Safer"
"We are lighting a fuse that will burn across continents, inviting the very instability we seek to protect ourselves against," the actress writes in a new op-ed.
Angelina Jolie is speaking out against President Donald Trump's executive order targeting Muslim-majority nations and restricting refugees from entering the U.S.
In an op-ed Thursday for The New York Times, the actress and activist argues that as a country, "we must never allow our values to become the collateral damage of a search for greater security.
"Shutting our door to refugees or discriminating among them is not our way, and does not make us safer," Jolie writes. "Acting out of fear is not our way. Targeting the weakest does not show strength."
The executive order that Trump signed last week, impacting refugees as well as immigrants and visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, has been largely protested in Hollywood since its inception. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as well as hundreds of celebrities joined protests at airports around the country over the weekend, with more actors speaking out against the travel ban on Sunday at the SAG Awards.
"The decision to suspend the resettlement of refugees to the United States and deny entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries has been met with shock by our friends around the world precisely because of this record," says Jolie, who is also special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
While Jolie writes that she agrees that terrorism threats and the ongoing refugee crisis make it understandable that the government consider ways to protect its citizens, "our response must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear."
She adds that as a mother, "I very much want our country to be safe for them, and all our nation’s children. But I also want to know that refugee children who qualify for asylum will always have a chance to plead their case to a compassionate America. And that we can manage our security without writing off citizens of entire countries — even babies — as unsafe to visit our country by virtue of geography or religion."
Jolie concludes: "If we Americans say that these obligations are no longer important, we risk a free-for-all in which even more refugees are denied a home, guaranteeing more instability, hatred and violence. If we create a tier of second-class refugees, implying Muslims are less worthy of protection, we fuel extremism abroad, and at home we undermine the ideal of diversity cherished by Democrats and Republicans alike."