Press Release: Shutting the Door on Freedom



Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) Spokesperson, Amb. Rabbi David Saperstein Summons the Voices of the Interreligious Collective

Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2017. With Lady Liberty watching, America appears to be turning her back and shutting the door on freedom and safety for tens of thousands of desperate refugees by lowering the admissions cap by 60%. All indications point to fewer than 50,000 refugees being permitted to enter our country in the next fiscal year.

Members of Congress, the clergy and advocates stood today at the U.S. Capitol House Triangle to express outrage and urge opposition to these unconscionable cuts. Among them, Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein spoke for America’s faith-based values of “welcoming the stranger” on behalf of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA). Also representing the Religious Action Center, Rabbi Saperstein spoke for the Jewish people, reminding us of a promise we made 70 years ago, after refugees in another life or death situation perished. We said “Never Again.”

In his poignant remarks, Saperstein continued: “As a rabbi, I know all too well the disastrous consequences when the United States abdicates moral obligations and turns away refugees at its shores. As a faith leader committed to interreligious expression, I know our collective voice speaks to the obligation, as well as to the value to our county, of a moral response to the refugee crisis. At a time when the world faces the most serious refugee challenges since World War II, we must advocate for sensible and humane refugee policies that represent America’s values, strategic interests and national security concerns.”

MFA Founder, Dr. Georgette Bennett, added: “This decision also will speak volumes on the global stage: America is abdicating its foreign policy leadership, its faith-based values, and the economic benefits we indisputably reap from refugees.”

Not since 1980 have so few refugees been admitted to the United States. Draconian cuts were condemned by all as a shameful betrayal of American values. The President and the Congress were urged to adopt humane and practical solutions.


The Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), a project of the Tides Center, is a coalition of nearly 90 faith-based ​​and secular organizations MFA’s mission is to mobilize the interfaith response to the humanitarian crisis, raise funds to deliver relief, cultivate vital partnerships to promote stability in the region, advocate for sensible and humane refugee policies, and create awareness of the facts, the needs, and the opportunities for positive action.


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Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees is a project of the Tides Center 
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