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Lifeline Sudbury Response to Executive Order Barring Syrian Refugees and Quebec Shooting

Lifeline Sudbury Response to Executive Order Barring Syrian Refugees and Quebec Shooting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 30, 2017

Lifeline Sudbury’s Response to U.S. Ban of Refugees

The war in Syria, in which 500,000 people have died, and the spectacle of the US election may seem remote from the day-to-day lives of many Sudbury residents. Unfortunately, these events are also the lived experience of over fifty of our newest neighbours who are once again being discriminated against based on their nationality and faith. The recent Executive Order enacted by President Trump - the subject to international condemnation - temporarily bans immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Among these countries and peoples, Syrian refugees were singled out for indefinite exclusion.

First – and most importantly – to Syrians and Syrian refugees living in our community, and to all citizens of Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen - you are welcome in Greater Sudbury. Our community rejects xenophobia, prejudice and discrimination. We stand with you today and with all other countries and communities that embrace humanitarian efforts to resettle refugees.

Second – to our American neighbours - we know that the recent actions of President Trump do not represent the core values of your country. Your Statue of Liberty proclaims “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” These words are a guiding light for people who believe in freedom and charity.

Third – we reaffirm the moral obligation to help those who seek sanctuary from war and oppression. And by corollary, we believe that this transcends race, religion, ethnicity, and political persuasion. Thus, it is on this basis that Lifeline Sudbury determines who we assist in fulfillment of this obligation.

Finally – Lifeline Sudbury exists because, as Canadians, we value tolerance, diversity and pluralism. Since the first family from Syria arrived in Sudbury on December 31st, 2015 we have experienced this first-hand. We believe that this community stands out for its hospitality, generosity and kindness. And for this, Lifeline Sudbury thanks the residents of Sudbury and the many volunteers and donors who support our local sponsor groups. You have made our city a beacon to the world.