WELLESLEY (CBS) — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was just ten minutes into her speech on the very personal subjects of refugees and immigration when she debuted her Donald Trump impression.

“Shutting the door on refugees is a big mistake,” she said. “Huge.”

Albright was speaking Sunday morning at a panel on refugees at her alma mater, Wellesley College. Herself a refugee from the former Czechoslovakia, Albright said she remembers being welcomed to the United States, and believes it a mistake not to do the same now for others.

“Refugee admissions and immigration more generally are an economic necessity for our country, because our populations are aging, and because immigrants bring skills that are in great demand,” she told attendees.

She strongly criticized President Trump, telling the crowd she believed he was wrong.

“The Trump administration appears to be on the verge of issuing a new order,” Albright warned. “And there are disturbing reports that the White House has been pressuring the intelligence community to come up with evidence to back up its claims that refugees and immigrants pose a threat.”

Coming to the U.S. as a refugee herself, Albirght said she remembers being welcomed and believes it’s a mistake not to do the same for others seeking refuge.

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright spoke as part of a panel on refugees at Wellesley College Sunday morning. (WBZ-TV)

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright spoke as part of a panel on refugees at Wellesley College Sunday morning. (WBZ-TV)

“We now have a president who suggest that America must choose between protecting our security and playing our historic role as a place of refuge for the persecuted. But that is not a choice we need to make. We can do both,” the former diplomat said.

A 1959 graduate of Wellesley College, Albright became the nation’s first female secretary of state in 1997. She said leaders and citizens need to “join forces to best manage this international crisis.”

“Truth is refugees have made and will continue to make big impacts on our society as doctors and lawyers and even as secretary of state,” Albright added.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports

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