Washington (Agenzia Fides) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will limit immigration and refugees from 7 Muslim-majority countries to the USA for three months and acknowledged as "a priority" the importance to grant legal refugee status to the category of "persecuted Christians" by making explicit reference to the situation in Syria, and arguing that until now Christians fleeing the Syrian conflict were discriminated against by the admission policy by Washington towards refugee asylum seekers .
The considerations on the special treatment for Christian refugees were expressed by Trump in an excerpt of an interview on Friday, January 27, with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the media system founded by tele-preacher Pat Robertson. When the journalist asked if the changes he introduced in the reception policy of refugees had a relation with the situation of persecuted Christians, and if he considered this reality as "a priority", Donald Trump responded in an affirmative manner. "(Persecuted Christians) have been treated horribly" stressed the President of the United States, adding that "if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, very, very difficult to enter the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible". Trump called this practice "unjust". He acknowledged that "everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians, and this is why we will help them".
Statistics provided by the Pew Research Center last October do not support Trump's argument. Pew research found that 38,901 Muslim refugees entered the United States in fiscal year 2016 from all countries, almost the same number, 37,521, as Christian refugees.
The executive order signed yesterday at the Pentagon by Trump to restrict the entry of refugees in the United States was justified by the President with the intent to "keep the radical Islamic terrorists" out of the country. In detail, the entry to the US for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia has been suspended for three months. While US law experts begin to brand each hypothetical project to select the entry of refugees and migrants in the US based on religion as anti-constitutional. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 28/01/2017)