MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski revealed Monday that she's putting her money where her mouth is by trying to adopt a Syrian family. She made the comments on "Morning Joe" after reading a statement by the United Nations refugee agency rebuking President Trump over his executive order temporarily banning all entry into the United States from seven countries.
"I should note that I am on the board of UNHCR," Brzezinski added, "and I'm also in the process of trying to adopt a Syrian family, as we put it all on the table here."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees organizes relief efforts and repatriation of refugees on behalf of the United Nations in agreement with member nations.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 30, 2017
Brzezinski read a portion of a statement from the U.N. refugee agency that appeared to criticize the executive order for prioritizing refugees from a religious minority over those from the majority, which some called an unconstitutional "religious test":
We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality, or race.
The preference of a religious minority is mentioned in Trump's order in section 5, paragraph (b), and pertains to those refugee claims made once they resume after the restriction period:
Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality.
Critics have used this section of the executive order to support their characterization of it as a "Muslim ban" — something Trump repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign but has since backed away from. However, even National Review's David French, famous for being a "Never Trump" critic, says this is hysteria on the part of the media:
Religious considerations are by law part of refugee policy. And it is entirely reasonable to give preference (though not exclusivity) to members of minority religions.
The order caused much confusion when it went into effect as authorities detained persons targeted by the ban at airports across America. They became a flashpoint for protesters to demonstrate against the ban and President Trump. A federal judge granted a a temporary stay on the executive order on Saturday, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced that legislation was being drawn up to reverse it.