Suzanne Akhras Sahloul

Suzanne Akhras Sahloul is executive director of the Syrian Community Network.

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How Trump's Actions on Refugees Betray American Values

Image via RNS/Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

“We were wrong.”

That’s how former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns summarized one of the most notorious episodes in the history of American refugee policy. In 1939, the MS Saint Louis carried 937 Jewish refugees towards our shores. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration denied the ship access to the U.S. and forced it to return to Europe. A third of the passengers died at Auschwitz and other concentration camps.