Resources for Your Legislative Advocacy Needed to Support Refugees!
As you know, reports surfaced in mid-July that some administration officials have proposed resettling zero refugees in 2020 – all during the worst refugee crisis in world history. Zeroing out refugee resettlement would amount to a full refugee ban, with grave long-term implications, devastating thousands of refugees who are in dangerous situations and who we have promised to protect. Key players in the administration and Congress are meeting RIGHT NOW during September to determine how many refugees will be named as our resettlement goal for 2019. The US refugee program is at GRAVE RISK; and deeply needs your voice of support NOW!
At the same time, the administration has proposed barring refugees from seeking asylum if they travel through another country to reach the U.S. southern border. As people who care about refugees and asylum-seekers, we must demand that Members of Congress publicly denounce these proposals and weigh in with the administration directly, urging them to commit to resettling 95,000 refugees (the historic average) next year and protect asylum-seekers.
Congress is back in session after a long recess. Take advantage of this time by setting up a meeting with your local offices, and calling and tweeting to your legislators to URGE they protect refugees NOW! Establishing and strengthening relationships with your congressional offices is crucial to protecting access to asylum and refugee resettlement!
Here’s what is urgently needed from you and your congregation:
2. RESEARCH your legislators’ views on refugees, and check to see on what committees they serve. (Judiciary, Foreign Policy, and Appropriations are especially important for refugee concerns.) GA-1935-Concerning-Steep-Reductions – FINALALLEDITS
4. SCHEDULE YOUR MEETING, AND INVITE AND PREP WITH OTHER FAITH PARTNERS! Scheduling can require multiple contacts, and lots of patience. Remember, you are building relationships–so use each contact to ensure they are understanding how much your faith values lead you to support refugees. You’ll find needed phone numbers and sometimes required online request forms on your leaders’ websites.
5. TAKE “LEAVE BEHINDS” LIKE THESE:
*Share our Disciples Emergency Resolution in support of refugees from our Disciples General Assembly 2019: GA-1935-Concerning-Steep-Reductions – FINALALLEDITS
*Share stories like these in your visit, which were shared at General Assembly 2019: Refugee Resettlement Disciples Testimonies at GA2019. Then, write your own (and record on your phone)–and send to RIM at: email@example.com for sharing with other Disciples, and with your legislators in D.C.!
*Share this bi-partisan Final Refugee Resettlement Letter House2019 from US Representatives, and share this bipartisan Lankford Coons lead Letter on Concerns to Eliminate Refugee CapSENATE letter from U.S. Senators in support of refugees. If your leaders are not yet signed on, encourage them to also share the views in the letter with the administration, and with other legislative friends!
*Please see here important updates and share select information about alarming trends in reductions of US refugee resettlement in the US—and our need as faith partners to ask for 95,000 refugees to be approved for FY2020!
Map of All Refugee Resettlement Affiliate Offices, as of July, 2019:
See the latest refugee statistics from the UN Refugee Agency Statistical Yearbook
ENSURE THE U.S. CONTINUES TO OPEN OUR ARMS TO REFUGEES!:
(Oct. 16, 2018) This month, the administration named a refugee resettlement goal that is the historically lowest number ever (only 30,000)–despite the highest number of global refugees than ever before!
Our average annual resettlement goal in the U.S. has been about 95,000 refugees since 1980–and nearly 85,000 have been resettled each year.
Please share your love for refugees by going here to see what YOU can do and say to offer your support! Download the alert to share with others in your congregation and community: Disciples Refugee Alert after PD Oct2018Final
URGE YOUR LEADERS TO RESETTLE AT LEAST 95,000 REFUGEES IN FY2020!
(July 2019) Please join our Disciples General Minister & President, Rev. Terri Hord Owens, as we continue to #Pray4Refugees that the US will #Welcome95K refugees for resettlement next year. “Our country has always been a beacon of hope and opportunity, and we do not want to see that light go dim for so many,” Rev. Hord Owens reminds us. (Watch her video below, and see additional #Pray4Refugees videos from other Disciples Regional Ministers and leaders here.)
CALL!: Senate and House Judiciary Committee members play a key role in deciding, together with the President, the number of refugees to be resettled by the US each year. This decision is made annually before the end of September. See here a list of all relevant Judiciary Committee members’ and leaders’ phone numbers and Twitter contacts. Contact them to share your support for refugees!
WHAT TO SAY: See here a sample phone call Script and sample Tweets for contacting your Judiciary leaders to urge their support for at least 95,000 refugees to be resettled in FY2020
Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries sponsors and speaks at a White House Press Conference on September 12 to urge that 75,000 refugees be resettled in the U.S. over the next fiscal year, beginning October 1st. See coverage here.
Month of Ramadan resource provides ways that congregations can link with Muslim communities in their areas to engage in Interfaith Iftars. Click here for devotion, education and actions.
“The courts have spoken yet again in favor of justice and humanity. As CWS has maintained since January, President Trump’s ill-advised travel ban should never have been put into place at all. Americans across the country stand firmly against this un-American executive order, which further jeopardizes refugees’ safety, alienates us from our global allies, and compromises American leadership at time of heightened instability.
“We renew our call on all of our elected officials to do everything in their power to denounce Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban and stand against any proposal that would dismantle refugee resettlement. Advocates nationwide will not back down until this takes place—nothing less will do.
“As we approach World Refugee Day and celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month this June, CWS continues to stand in unyielding solidarity with our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters that make our country truly great.”
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org. Read CWS’ past press statements pertaining to the refugee and Muslim ban here.
The Disciples RIM Staff celebrates the 4th Circuit Appeals Court ruling in Richmond, Va. on May 25 that upheld a lower court ruling which had barred the administration from suspending visas to individuals from 6 primarily Muslim countries; including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The 4th circuit has said that it was “unconvinced” that the order “has more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the president’s proposed Muslim ban.”
The White House claimed it had the authority to issue the order based on the president’s powers to limit certain immigrants. The 4th Circuit ruling also noted that even though “Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens,” nonetheless they ruled that this “power is not absolute.”
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