Concern from refugee advocates over President Trump’s executive orders

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In the first of a series of executive orders to address national and border security, President Donald Trump called for the creation of his wall on the United States-Mexico border among other things.

“I think the guiding principle for the president is keeping this country safe,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer in a daily briefing.

“I really am concerned that this administration is giving in to fear and I actually think that’s ultimately going to make us less secure,” said David Fraccaro, with FaithAction International House in Greensboro.

FaithAction International House serves about 4,000 immigrants and refugees in our area every year from over 50 countries.

An executive order, expected to be signed this week, would temporarily suspend the United States refugee program, and halt any refugees from Syria from entering the country.

“It’s certainly not holding steadfast to the tradition of our statue of liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,” Fraccaro said. “What makes us strong in this country is not exclusion, its inclusion.”

Fraccaro says we need to have empathy for the horrors refugees are escaping in countries including Syria.

“They want the same thing we do: a safe place for themselves and their families,” Fraccaro said.

World Relief is another refugee organization. In 2016 they received 616 refugees for High Point and Winston-Salem. More than half came from Middle Eastern or African countries Trump is considering banning. Another executive order would suspend visas from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

“If it’s a very small delay to be sure all our systems are in place, that is arguably an acceptable step by the administration,” said Gerry Chapman, with Chapman Law Group, specializing in immigration law in Greensboro.

Chapman has already heard from clients with concerns about being separated from families and loved ones overseas. He says other concerns are also brought up with dual-citizenship.

“He [a client] is married and his wife is from Syria, and the normal process for that kind of a case is a year and a half anyway and he’s concerned that going to expand that time frame dramatically,” Chapman said.

The president is expected to sign these executive orders at the end of the week.

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