One year ago tomorrow, this administration made a fundamentally un-American decision: to ban Syrian refugees, suspend our entire refugee program for 120 days, and stop all travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.
The decision hit home for me personally -- as a refugee myself who fled the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, I knew how much America's generosity and openness meant to someone in search of a better life.
It disturbed me greatly to see core U.S. values under attack.
But what happened next inspired me.
Over the next week, month, and year, we saw Americans demonstrate courage in the face of the Muslim ban, and more broadly, against this administration's discriminatory immigration policies.
People rushed to airports in the middle of the night to protest. Brave citizens, advocacy groups, and states from Hawaii to New York challenged the ban in court. And Americans everywhere, over the past year, stood up for immigrant and refugee communities.
A year after the ban, our work continues. We need to make sure America is still a country that provides refuge for those seeking freedom and opportunity.
In 2018, this administration has already shown that it will continue to push cruel immigration policies -- whether it's putting DREAMers at risk, insisting on a southern border wall, or trying to end the visa lottery and family reunification programs.
And even though the legality of the ban is being questioned in the Supreme Court, the consequences of its implementation are happening, right now:
Muslims are being kept apart from loved ones abroad. Promising young people are still barred from entering the country. And our fundamental, constitutional principle of religious equality for all is being actively threatened.
In short, we cannot back down.
We have to keep up the pressure against this administration's assaults against immigrants and refugees. We have to keep fighting for a country that is open, inclusive, and better for all of us. Say you'll work with OFA to do so:
Former Secretary of State
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