Rep. Chu Urges President Trump to Act to Save Syrian Lives
Washington, DC — On June 14, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) sent a letter to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to ease the suffering of Syrians in Idlib province. The letter calls for pressuring Turkey to let in humanitarian aid, lifting the Muslim ban so refugees can find safety in the U.S., and working with Russia and Turkey to find a lasting political solution. The text of the letter is online here and included below:
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear President Trump:
I write to urge you to take immediate action to ease the suffering of Syrians in Idlib province. Syria’s government, with the support and assistance of Russia, has increased their assault on Idlib. And on Sunday, June 2, you stated through social media that the bombing in the Idlib Province and the killing of innocent civilians must stop. I agree that something must be done.
First, we must allow humanitarian aid to reach the refugees from Syria. Since April 1 of this year, over 307,000 Syrians have been displaced by the Russian and Syrian offensive – the highest rate of displacement since the war began. This is made significantly worse by the decisions of Turkey and the U.S. to stop admitting Syrian refugees. Turkey’s decision to shut down the border is stopping necessary humanitarian supplies from getting to the people who need them. I urge you to call on Turkey to immediately allow access to aid groups to deliver humanitarian services we know can save lives.
Next, we must reverse the current ban on refugees from Syria. In past years, America has let in 100,000 or more refugees who have settled safely and productively in our communities. But for fiscal year 2018, your Administration lowered the cap on admitted refugees to 45,000, and the U.S. did not reach that number, letting in only 22,491. This year, the cap was lowered even further to 30,000, and so far, only 335 Syrian refugees have been admitted in 2019, down from 15,479 Syrian refugees in 2016. Our country has the best vetting system in the world and can responsibly help the innocent civilians you rightly point out are being attacked by allowing them to find safety here.
Finally, I encourage you to use your relationship with Russian and Turkish leaders to begin a political process that will not only allow in humanitarian aid but also end this conflict. We cannot stand-by and watch while Russia and Syria commit atrocities in Idlib. America must use our influence to craft a lasting solution that will halt this bloodshed. Syrians should not be paying the price for our inaction.
Thank you in advance for considering my views on helping Syria’s civilians. I look forward to your response.
Judy Chu, PhD.
Member of Congress