Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Support for Refugees

Friday January 12, 2018

CARV member, Ron Ison (Togo ’84 -’87) contacted local members of Congress and Senators to share his firs-hand experiences over decades with refugees and immigrants in the Cincinnati area.  Ron truly exemplifies the Third Goal of bringing the world back home by welcoming new Americans into his home and helping dozens to achieve success in the US.  This is the letter he received from Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio:


Dear Mr. Ison:

Thank you for sharing your personal story with me. I appreciate your service and continued support for refugees.

Like you, I believe the United States must play a central role in assisting refugees. Turning our backs on children and families just like ours—whose only goal is to escape violence and persecution—does not make us safer.

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an initial executive order (EO), which suspended the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. Thousands of refugees from the most vulnerable corners of the world, who had already been through rigorous screening, faced the possibility they might not be allowed into the U.S. Several lawsuits were filed to block the EO, and multiple federal courts issued injunctions that prevented the government from enforcing various parts of the EO. Since then, courts have knocked down various parts of the EO and its later iterations.

In October 2017, President Trump issued a new EO resuming the USRAP with so-called “enhanced vetting” and barred admissions of refugees from 11 countries for 90 days. On December 4, with the EO facing legal challenges, the Supreme Court ruled that the new restrictions could take effect while the Court examines the case. The President also announced he would be reducing U.S. refugee admissions to 45,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2018, down from 110,000 for FY 2017.

Accepting refugees enriches our local communities and fulfills America’s promise as a welcome home to everyone. However, we must continue to use every tool at our disposal to make sure our screening system is tough and effective. I voted to strengthen our vetting system, and will continue to support meaningful efforts to ensure it works to keep terrorists out. But abandoning refugee families – many of whom are fleeing the very same terrorists we are fighting ­– is wrong and does not make America safer.

The message sent by President Trump in the EOs – that refugees are not welcome in the U.S. – is deeply concerning and contrary to America’s foundational principles. But I am heartened by the outpouring of activism supporting refugees and immigrants, like your letter. I have also been inspired by the many demonstrations we have seen across the country – one of which I joined at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus in January.

I have met with refugee families around Ohio and have witnessed how they contribute to our state. In Washington, I have made my concerns known to the Trump administration and I have advocated for robust funding for refugee programs in the U.S. and abroad. I am an original co-sponsor of S.608 and S.1979, Senate bills that would nullify the EOs, and I helped introduce Senate Resolution 56, which reiterates support for our refugee program and America’s role as a global leader on immigration.

Thank you for your advocacy. I encourage you to stay involved and to tell your story of why these policies matter. Thank again for contacting me.




Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

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