Right now, it is more important than ever for all of our elected officials to hear that their communities welcome refugees. More than 65 million people have been persecuted and forced from their homes and are seeking safety. Refugee resettlement saves lives, encourages other countries to keep their doors open to people needing protection, and promotes regional stability and global security. We cannot turn our backs on refugees we have pledged to welcome. Nor can we discriminate against individuals based on where they’re from or what religion they practice.
The administration set the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2018 at 45,000 – the lowest level in U.S. history – and we are on track to resettle only around 20,000 refugees this year. As people who care about refugees, we must make sure that our Members of Congress do everything they can to see the administration meet the 45,000 refugee admissions goal and commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees next year. Take action to ensure our leaders affirm the importance of the refugee resettlement program.
Call Your Elected Official
Tell Congress to Welcome Refugees: Call 1-866-961-4293*
*Please call three times to be connected with your Representative and both of your Senators.
Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [CITY/TOWN], and I urge you to support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. I strongly oppose President Trump’s continued Muslim and refugee bans, as well as the all-time low cap on refugee admissions. I urge you to do everything in your power to see that the administration resettle at least the 45,000 refugees they have set as the cap for 2018 and see the administration commit to resettling at least 75,000 for 2019. Resettlement is a core American legacy that allows refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. My community welcomes refugees, and I urge you to reflect the best of our nation by supporting the refugee resettlement program.”
Feel free to also share a personal story about the importance of refugees to you, your faith, your community, your business, etc. Let them know the specific ways that refugees benefit and are welcomed into your community, and why refugee protection is so important to you.
Write to Your Elected Official
The Honorable [Senator/Representative] (find this information at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov)
[room number] [name of congressional office building]
Washington, DC [20510/20515]
Dear [Senator/Representative] [last name]:
As your constituent from [city, state], I urge you to welcome refugees and support the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Resettlement is a strong American legacy that extends hospitality and offers a chance for refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. Every day, more community members than ever before are volunteering with resettlement offices around the country to help refugees integrate and thrive.
The world is experiencing the largest refugee crisis in global history. An unprecedented 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes because of violence, persecution, and war. There are 22.5 million refugees – more than half of them children. The current global humanitarian crisis we face requires bold leadership. The United States has a long bipartisan history of welcoming refugees, which both reflects American values and serves as a strong diplomatic tool. The U.S. refugee resettlement is a life-saving program and grounded in a public-private partnership model, resettling an average of 80,000 refugees annually for over 40 years, with an average refugee admissions ceiling of 95,000 refugees per year. Our nation’s role in responding to today’s refugee crisis will determine our moral, diplomatic, and economic standing among world leaders.
In September 2017, President Trump announced a refugee admissions goal of 45,000 for Fiscal Year 2018, the lowest in the 38-year history of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Since the program’s inception, the United States has set an average refugee admissions goal of 95,000 refugees and has resettled up to 200,000 refugees in certain years. In order to reach this 45,000 goal, the administration must resettle an average of 3,750 refugees each month. However, projections estimate that the United States will resettle only around 20,000 refugees this year - less than half of the historically low 45,000 we promised to resettle. The consequences of low arrivals have been profound as tens of thousands of refugees remain in precarious or dangerous situations overseas.
We can’t forget that this is not about a number – this is about saving lives. As the United States aims to put its values and interests first, it must not forget that offering freedom from oppression is a crucible of its founding. Resettling refugees is a way that the United States can live out its core values and ensure a more stable and democratic world. Abysmally low refugee arrivals challenge our credibility around the world as a moral and foreign policy leader. I implore you to do everything in your power to ensure the administration increases the pace of arrivals to resettle at least 45,000 refugees this year and commits to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in FY 2019.
[your signature and contact information]