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DREDF Highlights Implications of Federal Executive Actions for Immigrants and Refugees with Disabilities

Friday, February 24, 2017

DREDF shares the concerns expressed by others within the California legal services sector as to the impact of new federal immigration-related executive actions and policies on the communities we represent.

In a statement posted on our website, DREDF strongly condemns the immoral and unconstitutional Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 27, 2017, which suspends all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, bans all people coming from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, for 90 days, and prohibits refugees from Syria for an undetermined time.

The Executive Order could have a devastating impact for people with disabilities. Not only are people with disabilities among those displaced during conflict, people also become disabled during conflict and while seeking refuge. Research conducted in refugee settlements shows that the rate of disability among refugees is higher than that in the general population, and their access to the support and accommodations needed to benefit even minimally from basic services is severely lacking.

The ban will inevitably have a disparate impact on immigrants with disabilities because their options for emigration are already limited by discriminatory policies. A number of countries, including the United States, already make emigration difficult for individuals with disabilities and families who have children with disabilities based on the biased assumption that they could be a burden on society. The Executive Order further disadvantages children and adults with disabilities seeking to immigrate to the U.S.
Our country must be better than this. The Trump Executive Order has little to do with national security, and everything to do with prejudice. We join all who are calling for President Trump to cancel this Executive Order. We are a nation of immigrants and indigenous peoples whose diversity is what has made us a beacon of freedom — we must not allow policies or actions based on unfounded fears and prejudices to extinguish our light.

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