Angelina Jolie has warned US President Donald Trump he is “playing with fire” by implementing his controversial travel ban.
The actress and UN ambassador fiercely criticised the decision to prevent refugees from entering America, saying the move would not make the country safer.
Writing in the New York Times, Angelina, 41, said Trump’s executive order – which blocked entry to the US for nationals from seven Muslim majority countries – risked fuelling extremism abroad and creating “more instability, hatred and violence”.
“Refugees are men, women and children caught in the fury of war, or the cross hairs of persecution,” she said.
“Far from being terrorists, they are often the victims of terrorism themselves.
“Every government must balance the needs of its citizens with its international responsibilities. But our response must be measured and should be based on facts, not fear.”
Angelina, whose father Jon Voight has been a vocal supporter of Trump, referred to her six children, who she said were “all born in foreign lands and are proud American citizens”.
“If we send a message that it is acceptable to close the door to refugees, or to discriminate among them on the basis of religion, we are playing with fire,” she added.
“We are lighting a fuse that will burn across continents, inviting the very instability we seek to protect ourselves against.”
Angelina, who has recently avoided the spotlight following her divorce from Brad Pitt, said the world was witnessing “the worst refugee crisis since World War Two” and some countries in Africa and the Middle East were “bursting at the seams with refugees”.
She said that “shutting our door to refugees or discriminating among them is not our way, and does not make us safer.
“If we create a tier of second-class refugees, implying Muslims are less worthy of protection, we fuel extremism abroad, and at home we undermine the ideal of diversity cherished by Democrats and Republicans alike – ‘America is committed to the world because so much of the world is inside America’ in the words of Ronald Reagan.
“If we divide people beyond our borders, we divide ourselves.”
To read Jolie's column in full, click here.