Angelina Jolie has spoken out against Donald Trump's controversial refugee ban, making a plea for a compassionate America that prioritizes human rights and makes decisions based on "facts, not fear."
"I'm proud of our country's history of giving shelter to the most vulnerable people. Americans have shed blood to defend the idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion," Jolie begins in hew New York Times op-ed, going on to denounce Trump's decision to ban refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Drawing on her experience as the mother of six children, all of whom were born in foreign countries and now hold US citizenship, Jolie points out that vetting procedures for those seeking asylum are already extensive, contrary to the Trump administration's claims that more rigorous screening is needed: "It is simply not true that our borders are overrun or that refugees are admitted to the United States without close scrutiny."
Jolie warned that the ban could have far-reaching consequences across the globe, sparking a movement that will only lead to more instability and fuel extremism. "The truth is that even if the numbers of refugees we take in are small, and we do the bare minimum, we do it to uphold the United Nations conventions and standards we fought so hard to build after World War II, for the sake of our own security. If we Americans say that these obligations are no longer important, we risk a free-for-all in which even more refugees are denied a home, guaranteeing more instability, hatred and violence."
"Acting out of fear is not our way,"Jolie concludes. "Targeting the weakest does not show strength."
Read Jolie's passionate op-ed in full at The New York Times.