Malala Yousafzai Asks President Trump Not To Turn His Back On Refugee Children

Refugees are barred from entering the U.S. for 120 days.

On Friday, girls' education advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai released a statement criticizing President Trump's executive order that closes U.S. borders to refugees. She described herself as "heartbroken" over the action. 



The president signing an executive order to advance the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Courtesy of The White House.
The president signing an executive order to advance the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Courtesy of The White House.

The order prohibits the entry of refugees from all countries for 120 days and the entry of refugees from Syria indefinitely. In addition, citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will not be allowed entry into the U.S. for 90 days, even if not filing for refugee status.

"I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled out for discrimination," Yousafzai wrote on Facebook. "In this time of uncertainty and unrest around the world, I ask President Trump not to turn his back on the world's most defenseless children and families."

Yousafzai speaks with former British prime minister David Cameron at the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London.  Georgina Coupe/Crown Copyright.
Yousafzai speaks with former British prime minister David Cameron at the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London.  Georgina Coupe/Crown Copyright.

The statement reads in full:

I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war. I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants — the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life. I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled-out for discrimination. I am heartbroken for girls like my friend Zaynab, who fled wars in three countries — Somalia, Yemen and Egypt — before she was even 17. Two years ago she received a visa to come to the United States. She learned English, graduated high school and is now in college studying to be a human rights lawyer. Zaynab was separated from her little sister when she fled unrest in Egypt. Today her hope of being reunited with her precious sister dims. In this time of uncertainty and unrest around the world, I ask President Trump not to turn his back on the world's most defenseless children and families.

Yousafzai was targeted by gunmen after reporting on life under Taliban rule for the BBC. After making a full recovery, Yousafzai became an outspoken advocate of gender equality and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Her bravery and actions have inspired millions around the world to speak up and speak out about injustices in their community.

Cover image via The White House / JStone / Shutterstock.

(H/T: The Huffington Post)

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