The United States has historically welcomed refugees fleeing war and persecution and given them a chance to rebuild their lives in safety. However, the executive order on refugees signed by President Donald Trump on Jan. 27 suspended the entire refugee resettlement programme for 120 days for a security review and barred refugees fleeing the war in Syria from entry to the U.S. indefinitely.

The International Rescue Committee, which has resettled 400,000 refugees in the U.S. since World War II, swiftly called for an “urgent rethink,” warning that the order would increase the suffering of some of the world's most vulnerable people while doing nothing for American security.

The order resulted in chaos at airports across the country as refugees who were already in the air when the order was signed were detained and in some cases sent back to the crises they had fled. It hit a roadblock on Jan. 28 when a federal judge in New York issued an emergency stay following a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two Iraqi refugees detained at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. The IRC is closely monitoring developments.   

IRC resettlement and policy experts have answered some of the questions you may have about the order.


Refugees in the U.S. and around the world need your support now more than ever.

Donate today