N.H. Refugee Organization Prepares To Fight Executive Order

Jan 25, 2017

The organization that resettles refugees in Manchester says it’s ready to take action against an executive order likely to be announced by the Trump administration Thursday. Nearly 450 refugees were resettled in New Hampshire last year.

A draft of the Trump administration's order was made public Wednesday. It would stop all refugee resettlement in the United States for 120 days. 

After those 120 days, the draft executive order states, refugees would be permitted from those nations where quote “sufficient safeguards” –are able to be established to ensure the quote “security and welfare” of the United States.

Jeffrey Thielman is president and CEO of the nonprofit that resettles refugees in Manchester, Boston, and Lowell. He said his organization, the International Institute of New England, is ready to fight the order:

"If you read the draft of the executive order, it makes a specific statement about religion," Thielman said, "my initial read of this, is that it’s unconstitutional to apply a religious test for people wanting to come to the United States."

Thielman said his organization is prepared to join others in a lawsuit against the order, and has is lobbying against the anti-refugee effort at the state and federal levels.