Local Congressional Visits April 13th-28th
Tell Congress to Protect Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Families Seeking Protection
The Trump administration has dismantled the refugee resettlement program by 75% and set this year’s refugee admissions goal at 30,000 - the lowest level in U.S. history. Given that there are more than 25 million refugees worldwide -- more than half of whom are children -- these numbers are shockingly low. The administration has also made and proposed multiple policy changes to create barriers for asylum seekers, which have life or death consequences for families who are fleeing violence. All people have the right to seek a safe place to call home. We urge Congress to:
- Hold the administration accountable to meeting this year’s 30,000 refugee admissions goal and urge them to commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2020, rebuilding the program and returning it to historic norms - and support the capacity and infrastructure of local communities to welcome refugees.
- Co-sponsor the GRACE Act (S.1088 and H.R.2146), which would set a minimum refugee admissions goal at 95,000 (the historic average since 1980).
- Co-sponsor the NO BAN Act (S.1123 and H.R.2214), which would end the harmful refugee, Muslim, and asylum bans put in place by this administration and establish vital protections against future discriminatory bans.
- Join the bipartisan Congressional Refugee Caucus (for Representatives only).
- Affirm the right of all people to seek asylum and protection, and ensure that asylum seekers are not returned to harm.
From April 13th through April 28th, Members of Congress will be in their local offices, and they need to hear that their constituents care about refugees. We urge you to plan one of the following events during this time:
- Meet with your Senators and Representative: Find step-to-step instructions in the RCUSA Toolkit for setting up a local congressional visit, recruiting a powerful team, planning an effective meeting, and urging your Senators and Representative to be champions for refugees. The toolkit also has talking points and links to handouts that you can use for the meeting, as well as contact information for advocacy staff. Click here for the list of asks for your Members of Congress.
- Invite Policy Makers to Greet Refugees at the Airport, Visit Refugee-Owned Businesses, Teach Civic Classes, or Officiate Citizenship Ceremonies: By inviting policy makers to events where they can speak with refugees, witness how communities welcome refugees, and how refugees are contributing to local economies, we can build support for resettlement. Ideas and tips for inviting policy makers to various events can be found in the RCUSA Toolkit.
- Organize a Community Roundtable: By convening refugees, employers, faith leaders, veterans, and other supportive community members who can speak to their support for refugee resettlement, you can convey a strong unified message to policy makers. Find tips on convening community roundtables in the RCUSA Toolkit.
- Lift Up Refugee Resettlement at Congressional Town Hall Meetings: Many Members of Congress will be organizing town hall meetings to hear from their constituents. These meetings are opportunities to lift up the importance of refugee resettlement and urge your policy maker to be champions for refugees. Asking questions about refugee arrivals will remind your policy makers that this is an issue that impacts your community. Tips for lifting up refugee resettlement at town hall meetings can be found in the RCUSA Toolkit.
- Call Congress and Urge Your Networks to Take Action: It’s critical that Members of Congress hear from their constituents who support refugee resettlement. Click here to receive a call that connects you to your elected officials or visit: greateras1.org/take-action-tell-congress-to-protect-refugees-and-asylum-seekers/.
- Educate Your Community by Writing Op Eds and Letters to the Editor, and via Social Media: A well-placed piece in a local media outlet has the power to influence decision makers. Click here for the RCUSA Advocacy Toolkit for sample opinion editorials and letters to the editor. Engage your Senators & Representatives on social media with these graphics and sample messages.
Thank you for taking action, and please share with your networks!