New York, NY, May 25, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed strong opposition to the nomination of Ronald Mortensen as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Mortensen is currently a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), an extreme anti-immigrant group founded in 1985. ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt issued the following statement:
The nomination of Ronald Mortensen is deeply troubling. Mr. Mortensen’s role at CIS, an organization with disturbing longstanding ties to racists and his past extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric are disqualifying. He is simply unsuited to head a bureau whose charge it is to provide protection to refugees around the world escaping persecution. CIS was founded with the help of racist John Tanton, the architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement with a history of promoting “passive” eugenics.
The potential harm Mr. Mortensen would impose on U.S. refugee policy and this country’s handling of the most vulnerable populations around the world, including refugees and asylum seekers raises serious concerns. His nomination only exacerbates fears by immigrants and refugees who depend on the protection of the Bureau and undermines the ideal that the U.S. remains a beacon of hope for those escaping violence and persecution. The Jewish community knows all too well what happens when people fleeing for their lives feel like they have nowhere to turn. We urge the Senate to reject his nomination.