Published Feb 03, 2017Angelina Jolie has long been an advocate for refugees, working as a goodwill ambassador to the UN from 2001 until being appointed a special envoy for the organization in 2012. Now, in the wake of Donald Trump's executive order suspending the United States' refugee program, Jolie has penned a powerful op-ed for the New York Times.
In the piece, she condemns Trump for acting based on fear instead of facts.
"The global refugee crisis and the threat from terrorism make it entirely justifiable that we consider how best to secure our borders," she writes. "Every government must balance the needs of its citizens with its international responsibilities. But our response must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear."
The mother of six children (all born outside the U.S., but "proud American citizens") goes on to express her wishes for a country that creates a safe environment for the world's "most vulnerable people" — noting that in addition to the fact that refugees undergo the highest levels of screening of anyone entering the United States, they are typically the victims of terrorism themselves.
"The lesson of the years we have spent fighting terrorism since Sept. 11 is that every time we depart from our values we worsen the very problem we are trying to contain," she writes. "We must never allow our values to become the collateral damage of a search for greater security. Shutting our door to refugees or discriminating among them is not our way, and does not make us safer. Acting out of fear is not our way. Targeting the weakest does not show strength."
She closes with: "We have to make common cause with people of all faiths and backgrounds fighting the same threat and seeking the same security. This is where I would hope any president of our great nation would lead on behalf of all Americans."
Read the entire piece here.