A Sad and Dangerous Day

June 26, 2018
By Avi Rose

How do we begin to express the depth of our heartbreak and anger at today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the president’s travel ban?

As an agency that cherishes—and acts upon—our traditional mandate to welcome the stranger, this ruling goes against our most fundamental values and morals.

As we’ve maintained since joining an ACLU lawsuit challenging this egregiously discriminatory policy, the ban was undoubtedly motivated by anti-Muslim bias. The president’s own frequently repeated words made this shockingly clear.

The Supreme Court of the United States has now stated that our government can discriminate on the basis of religion and nationality. It is a sad and dangerous day for all of us.

Tragically, the administration has worked hard to find ways to slam the door on people seeking refuge. The number of refugee arrivals this year is on track to be the lowest in modern history, even lower than the year following 9/11. Thus far in 2018, only 13 Syrian refugees have been permitted entry to our country, while several million live in limbo.

As we all know, this ruling comes on the heels of the horrific past few weeks of government-enforced family separations on our border. Children are being torn away from their parents—perhaps never to be reunited. As an organization grounded in trauma-focused services for children and families, we are sickened by these human rights violations. JFCS East Bay will be working to bring our expertise directly to those who will now likely suffer lifelong effects from these trauma-inducing policies.

For those of us who take our traditional mandates to heart—and who believe that the United States should live up to its ideals of welcoming those who need refuge—we are reminded today of the hard work needed to make this vision a reality.

By standing together for the principles of welcome, inclusion, and religious and ethnic diversity, we honor our own family histories and affirm the idea that moral and humanitarian leadership still matter in this world.