The IHR Clinic signed a coalition letter with 28 other refugee and immigration law experts, academic refugee and human rights experts, and refugee organizations and practitioners, requesting that Illinois Governor Rauner welcome Syrian refugees in Illinois. The letter was sent on November 19, 2015, and expresses support for the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
The coalition writes, that at a time when "Syrian refugees are fleeing exactly the kind of terror that unfolded on the streets of Paris," some are calling for a suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted group of people entering the United States, and undergo a series of intensive background and security checks, which often take up to two years to complete. Additionally, the United States often admits only the most at risk refugees, including those who cannot safely remain where they are, and who have children in need of medical care to survive.
The letter explains that, "to turn our back on refugees would be to betray our nation's core values." Closing our borders to Syrian refugees would signal to the world that the United States "judges people based on their nationality and religion," which "feeds directly into ISIS propaganda and makes us all less safe."
A press release of the letter is available here.