Angelina Jolie has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s refugee and immigration ban, arguing that the United States’ response to the specter of terrorism and a global refugee crisis “must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear.”
In a New York Times op-ed published Thursday, the actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian writes that she is “proud of our country’s history of giving shelter to the most vulnerable people,” and that she understands the need for secure borders.
“As the mother of six children, who were all born in foreign lands and are proud American citizens, I very much want our country to be safe for them, and all our nation’s children,” she says. “But I also want to know that refugee children who qualify for asylum will always have a chance to plead their case to a compassionate America. And that we can manage our security without writing off citizens of entire countries — even babies — as unsafe to visit our country by virtue of geography or religion.”
Trump’s controversial executive order, signed last Friday, blocked refugees from around the world and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. The ban has sparked massive protests around the country and been condemned by many politicians, celebrities, and ordinary citizens.
Jolie, a special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, asserts in her op-ed that it’s “simply not true that our borders are overrun or that refugees are admitted to the United States without close scrutiny.” In fact, she notes, refugees face the highest level of screening of any travelers to the U.S., including months of interviews and security checks.
Jolie also warns that Trump’s policies could send a dangerous, divisive message to the global community, fueling extremism and instability.
“We must never allow our values to become the collateral damage of a search for greater security,” she writes. “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.”
Read Jolie’s full op-ed in the New York Times.