Angelina Jolie spoke out against President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily restricts citizens from seven countries from entering the United States.
“Refugees are men, women and children caught in the fury of war, or the cross hairs of persecution. Far from being terrorists, they are often the victims of terrorism themselves,” she wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times published on Thursday.
The 41-year-old actress is an active humanitarian and special envoy for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Jolie has worked with the United Nations since 2001 and has carried out over 50 missions for them.
“Americans have shed blood to defend the idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion,” Jolie wrote. “The decision to suspend the resettlement of refuges to the United States and deny entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries has been met with shock by our friends around the world precisely because of this record.”
While Jolie acknowledged that it is “entirely justifiable” for the United States to secure its borders from terrorism threats, she also insisted that “every government must balance the needs of its citizens with its international responsibilities.”
“As the mother of six children, who were all born in foreign lands and are proud American citizens, I very much want our country to be safe for them, and all our nation’s children,” she added.
“But I also want to know that refugee children who qualify for asylum will always have the chance to plead their case to a compassionate America. And that we can manage our security without writing off citizens of entire countries — even babies — as unsafe to visit our country by virtue of geography or religion.”
Trump has not responded to Jolie’s open letter.